Teemu Pukki makes Warsaw goal pact as Celtic face Polish cracks in Champions League showdown

TEEMU PUKKI scored two of the goals which fired Celtic into tonight's third qualifying round tie against Legia Warsaw.

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Teemu Pukki is ready to grasp his chance to be a first team Celtic pick under new manager Ronny Deila
Teemu Pukki is ready to grasp his chance to be a first team Celtic pick under new manager Ronny Deila

And the Finnish hitman is praying his brace against KR Reykjavik will still be fresh in Ronny Deila's mind when the Hoops boss decides on his line-up for the tie in Poland.

An away goal and a clean sheet are the twin aims of the SPFL champions.

That would put them within touching distance of the play-offs for the Group Stage.

And, if Pukki is given the nod to lead the line against Legia - Anthony Stokes is still nursing a slight calf strain - he will take on the role with renewed confidence.

The striker said: "I would like the chance to try and score more goals in this competition.

"It would be good to score an away goal and have a lead to take back to Edinburgh for the second leg. We all want to win this."

Only a few hundred Hoops fans are expected at tonight's game, but Pukki wants to give them something to cheer about. However, he admits his knowledge of their opponents is not extensive. "We have been watching DVDs of them and we already know they're a good team and that this is not going to be easy for us," he said.

"Especially as they are home, they will be tough to beat. They have great backing from their support, so our target is to try and keep them quiet. If we play well, maybe they will turn against their team."

Pukki continued: "We could have got a weaker team in the draw. But we can't do anything about that. We just need to play the way we can. The most important thing is to get a good result.

Deila has now began tweaking his squad, and Norwegian striker Jo Inge Berget has been registered in time to be included in tonight's squad as he begins his six-month loan from Cardiff.

With Tony Watt moving to Standard Liege for £1.2million, more developments on the transfer front are expected before the play-off rounds, whether Celtic are by then going for the Champions League or the Europa League.

Nancy's Haitian midfielder, Jeff Louis, could be the next man to arrive, for a fee of around £1.7m

Before his rejuvenation under Deila, Pukki would have been one of the players tipped to be making room for more new signings.

But having finally found his confidence - and scoring touch - he is now focusing only on moving into the starting XI on a regular basis.

Pukki accepts seeing more and more players come in to compete for places is part and parcel of life at a club with the high aspirations of Celtic and said: "Every year there will be new players and that is good for the squad."


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