Celtic V Dundee Utd at Celtic Park : Match Preview

15 February 2013 04:01
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Celtic seek UEFA comments over referee

Celtic will seek "clarification" from UEFA over referee Alberto Undiano Mallenco's performance in the 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus at Parkhead on Tuesday night, manager Neil Lennon has revealed.

The Spanish official came in for widespread criticism of the way he allowed the Serie A side to manhandle Celtic players at times in the penalty area during the first leg of their last 16 tie.

Lennon was seething after the game and ahead of Saturday's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game against Dundee United at Parkhead he confirmed that the Scottish champions would be looking for an explanation from European football's governing body.

He said: "The referee didn't do his job and there has been a lot of talk since Tuesday night regarding it, so we are looking for clarification on the referee's decisions during the game.

"We are going to compile a DVD and send it to them (UEFA) and wait and see what answers we do get.

"It's a myth that Juventus `did their homework'. That's rubbish. Juventus defend like that week-in, week-out in Serie A.

"If anything we had done our homework and we made sure the referee was aware of it and he was looking at it time and again and Juventus went unpunished.

"We needed a strong referee and we didn't have that.

"It was blatant. I have seen photographs where the shirt was almost pulled off Gary Hooper's back and he ends up in the goal at one stage.

"I admire Gary for keeping his cool, if it had been me I might have got sent off for something I would have regretted later on.

"Gianluca Vialli (former Juventus skipper) said we should have had two penalties, Graham Poll and Dermot Gallagher (former referees).Trevor Francis said that even in his time playing in the 80s (in Italy) it was never as blatant as what he seen the other night, so these guys can't all be wrong and the referee right."

The fall-out from the Juventus defeat, which almost certainly renders the return game in Turin redundant, dominated Lennon's press conference at the club's Lennoxtown training complex.

But on Saturday afternoon, as Celtic return to domestic duties, Lennon will come up against one of his former Hoops team mates, Jackie McNamara, who recently took charge of the Taysiders.

He said: "I think he has taken over a good squad, Peter (Houston) left Dundee United pretty healthy.

"Probably league results didn't reflect that but Jackie has changed things around a little bit."

Lennon has several injury concerns ahead of the game.

Skipper Scott Brown (abductor) and defender Rami Gershon (thigh strain) are out while there are serious doubts over defender Mikael Lustig (thigh) and midfielder Victor Wanyama (swollen ankle).

Greece striker Georgios Samaras has battled back from a hamstring injury but he will not start training until next week.

Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven expects to face a Celtic backlash following their Champions League defeat by Juventus.

Mackay-Steven feels Celtic will be raring to bounce back after some missed chances and defensive errors undermined an impressive overall display in their 3-0 home loss on Tuesday night.

Celtic have faltered after a number of Champions League games this season but Mackay-Steven, whose team lost 4-0 at Celtic Park last month, said: "I think it will be as difficult as it always is.

"Going to Parkhead is never easy and they will be looking to get a positive result after what happened on Tuesday.

"They will be at the races so we need to make sure we are.

"They will be right up for the game. I felt they played well on Tuesday night and were unlucky to lose 3-0.

"They will definitely be looking to bounce back so we will need to perform as well as we can to get anything from the game."

United go into the game on a high after recording two victories and six goals, against Rangers and Hearts, in their opening two matches under Jackie McNamara.

Mackay-Steven said: "We will be confident, we have done well in the last few games.

"Hopefully we can start off well and keep that going.

"Not too much has changed. The manager has come in with a few different ideas in training.

"He is great to work with and speaks well to the boys.

"Everyone is flying in training and enjoying it again.

"Peter Houston did a great job as well but the new manager has his own ideas and it has been a fresh start for everyone, even the boys that have not been playing.

"It's a fresh chance for everyone to prove themselves and it has kept everyone on their toes."

United will be without Gavin Gunning after the defender suffered a knee injury that could finish his season.

Willo Flood is also a doubt after being hit with illness earlier in the week but striker Jon Daly has shaken off a knock he picked up against Hearts last weekend.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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