Previews

Thursday 26 November 2015
8:05pm
Celtic
VS
Ajax

Celtic go into their fifth Europa League Group A match still in search of their first win.

Draws against Ajax and Fenerbahce represented a reasonable start, but Ronny Deila’s team lost both clashes with Norwegian side Molde.

Those results leave the Bhoys on just two points and bottom of Group A, three points behind second-placed Fenerbahce with just two games remaining.

The Scottish Premiership champions will reach the last-32 if they beat Ajax on Thursday and then beat Fenerbahce when they travel to Turkey for their final group match.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 16:  Celtic manager Ronny Delia looks on during the Scottish Premiership League Match between Celtic and Dundee United, at Celtic Park on August 16, 2014 Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ronny Deila’s Celtic need a result against Ajax

However, a defeat, or even a draw, if Fenerbahce win in Molde, would result in elimination.

Ajax come into the game on the back of a convincing 5-1 win over Cambuur in the Eredivisie at the weekend, but they also need a result to keep their hopes of progressing alive.

The Dutch giants are also yet to win but sit a point above their hosts after drawing three and losing one of their four matches.

Frank de Boer’s side are again going well in the Eredivisie, sitting three points clear of Feyenoord at the top.

However, they’ve won just two of their last 19 matches away in Europe and were beaten 2-1 by the Bhoys in the 2013 Champions League group stage in Scotland.

In September’s reverse fixture, Ajax twice came from behind to seal a 2-2 draw with Lasse Schone scoring an equaliser six minutes from time.

Team News:

Deila will need to make a number of changes to his midfield due to injury setbacks.

Captain Scott Brown is the biggest loss for the Glasgow side, and he will be out of action for three months with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Kris Commons is a serious doubt with a thigh problem and illness, while Nir Bitton and Stefan Johansen are both suspended.

Defender Charlie Mulgrew will be missing once again with a hamstring injury, but he is nearing a return.

Frank de Boer is without midfielder Thulani Serero, while Anwar El Ghazi, Daley Sinkgraven and Riechedly Bazoer remain sidelined.

Group Position: Celtic – 4th (2 pts); Ajax – 3rd (3 pts)
Last Meeting: Ajax 2-2 Celtic, September 17, 2015
Key Men: Celtic – Leigh Griffiths; Ajax – Arkadiusz Milik
Form (all competitions): Celtic – WWWLWD; Ajax – WLWDDW
Shoot Says: Celtic 2-1 Ajax

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