Europa League: Shakhtar to play Celta

Monday, December 12, 2016



On 12 December, Nyon, Switzerland hosted the Europa League Round of 32 draw. At this stage, the Pitmen are to meet with Celta de Vigo (Spain)

Matches will be held on 16 and 23 February. The Pitmen will play the first leg away.

All the Round of 32 pairings:

Athletic (ESP) v APOEL (CYP)
Legia (POL) v Ajax (NED)
Anderlecht (BEL) v Zenit (RUS)
Astra (ROU) v Genk (BEL)
Man. United (ENG) v St-Étienne (FRA)
Villarreal (ESP) v Roma (ITA)
Ludogorets (BUL) v København (DEN)
Celta (ESP) v Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Olympiacos (GRE) v Osmanlıspor (TUR)
Gent (BEL) v Tottenham (ENG)
Rostov (RUS) v Sparta Praha (CZE)
Krasnodar (RUS) v Fenerbahçe (TUR)
Mönchengladbach (GER) v Fiorentina (ITA)
AZ (NED) v Lyon (FRA)
H. Beer-Sheva (ISR) v Beşiktaş (TUR)
PAOK (GRE) v Schalke (GER)

Celta come from the port city of Vigo of the province of Pontevedra. The club was founded in 1923 following the merger of Real Vigo Sporting and Real Fortuna Foot-ball Club. The team have never won trophies in the top tier in Spain, although they made it to the domestic Cup final three times (in 1948, 1994 and 2001).

The club history also saw it winning the 2000 Intertoto Cup, along with Udinese and Stuttgart. It was after it that Shakhtar met with Celta in European competitionsIn the 2000/01 season, the opponents met in the UEFA Cup Round of 32: they drew 0-0 in Donetsk, with the hosts claiming a narrow win in Vigo through a first-half goal by Catania.

Celta’s head coach is a 47-year-old Argentinian Eduardo Berizzo. He took charge of the team in 2014 after Luis Enrique’s move to Barcelona. Following the results of the 2015/16 season, Eduardo was short-listed for the La Liga Coach title (won by Diego Simeone). It is also interesting that Berizzo used to defend the colours of Vigo-based club as a player.

Since 1928, Celta have been playing in the stadium of Balaidos with the seating capacity of 29,000. It was at home that the team claimed one of the most outstanding wins this season, beating Barcelona 4-3.

After fifteen La Liga rounds, Celta sit in the 12th spot. However, due to the really packed table, the charges of Eduardo Berizzo can actively compete for a place in European competitions. For example, the fourth-place Real Sociedad have only five points more.

In the Europa League, Celta played in the same group with Ajax, Standard and Panathinaikos. The Spaniards finished second, two points clear of the Belgians. They beat the Greeks and drew twice at home, suffering just one defeat in six rounds in Amsterdam. Celta’s goal difference is 10-7. The team’s top scorer in the group stage is the Swede John Guidetti (three goals).