Tuesday 20 February 2018

We'll need a strong ref to stand any chance of beating Juventus, warns Georgios Samaras

Soccer - Georgios Samaras Filer...File photo dated 20/02/2011 of Celtic's Georgios Samaras. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 18, 2011. Striker Georgios Samaras has signed a new three-year contract with Celtic, the club have confirmed. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY ...S
Soccer - Georgios Samaras Filer...File photo dated 20/02/2011 of Celtic's Georgios Samaras. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday March 18, 2011. Striker Georgios Samaras has signed a new three-year contract with Celtic, the club have confirmed. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY ...S

Ronnie Esplin

GEORGIOS SAMARAS is looking for Turkish referee Firat Aydinus to ensure Celtic get a "fair" crack of the whip against Juventus tomorrow night as they try to rescue their Champions League campaign.

The Serie A leaders are 3-0 up from the first leg of their last-16 tie and are odds-on to finish off the job in Turin.

Celtic, though, arrived in Italy today still nursing a grievance from the match in Glasgow when Spanish official Alberto Mallenco refused to clamp down on Juventus' grappling in the penalty area.

Samaras reflected on the first game, which he missed through injury, while claiming that the Scottish champions can achieve what seems like an impossible dream.

"It was not fair, I think everybody saw that," he said.

"It is how they defend set-pieces, like most Italian teams.

"Hopefully, the referee will have his eyes more open tomorrow and see clearly what is going on and it can be a fair game because what happened wasn't fair.

"We will play the same way as we did in the first leg, try to move the ball, play attacking football and create chances and hopefully the chances that we create are put in the back of the net. And if we score the first goal you never know what can happen.

"In football everything can happen."

If Celtic are to score the first goal, or any goal, there is a fair chance that it will come from Samaras.

The Greece striker has scored in every away European tie this season: against HJK Helsinki and Helsingborg in the qualifiers and against Spartak Moscow, Barcelona and Benfica in the Group G games.

However, the former Manchester City player played down his impact on Celtic's European campaign as he stressed the importance of any sort of victory.

"Football is not a one-man show," he said. "We are a team, we lose as a team, we win as a team.

"Sometimes I score a goal and sometimes someone else scores.

"I don't really look for any (personal) records.

"It is always great to win a game and we want to make history and break records.

"We will be the first (Celtic) team to win in Italy.

"The most wins in Europe for Celtic in a season is eight and we are on seven at the moment."

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