Scottish giants Celtic travel to Spanish outfit Real Betis for their opening Group G clash in the Europa League on Thursday night. This will be the first ever European meeting between the two sides and the La Liga club's first ever game against a Scottish opponent.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men were grateful for an 89th-minute winner from Spain international Sergio Canales when securing their first victory of the season against Granada on Monday night. They now face a quick turnaround though, returning to action only three days later. However, it will be of some consolation that this fixture is at home and they do not have the logistical challenge of a journey across the continent to contend with.
Betis sit ninth in La Liga after four fixtures in what has been a steady if not exceptional start to the campaign. In Pellegrini they have a wise old head in the dugout and the Chilean knows all about navigating a passage through European competition.
Real Betis have never played an official fixture against Celtic and will want to create history this week. Both teams are perfectly capable of making their mark in the Europa League and have a point to prove in this fixture.
Celtic will have to adapt to Manuel Pellegrini's approach to the game and might not see much of the ball in this match. Real Betis are prone to counter-attacks, however, and will need to present a robust front this week.
After two successive defeats against AZ Alkmaar and Old Firm rivals Rangers, Celtic bounced back to claim a comfortable 3-0 win at home against Ross County in the Scottish Premiership last weekend.
Summer signing Cameron Carter-Vickers found the net on his debut to break the deadlock just after the hour mark, before Albian Ajeti scored a brace on his first start of the new season, to seal their third league win.