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Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Samaras still has Celtic hope

Georgios Samaras is staying positive about Celtic's prospects of overturning a 3-0 deficit against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 19/02/13 at 17:20 Post Comment

Georgios Samaras: Striker hopes Celtic can beat Juventus

Georgios Samaras: Striker hopes Celtic can beat Juventus

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Juventus enjoyed a convincing victory at Parkhead last week in the first leg of the last-16 tie and are overwhelming favourites to now reach the quarter-finals.

However, ahead of the return in Turin on Wednesday 6th March, Samaras is not discounting the SPL champions' chances of causing a major upset.

"In football you never know what's going to happen," Samaras, who hopes to return from a hamstring injury for the second leg, told Sky Sports News.

"We'll enjoy our game and play against the champions of Italy. It's a great stadium, it will be a full house, it's a Champions League night - I don't see any negative things."

The first leg was marred by Juventus' man-handling of Celtic players at set-pieces, but Samaras has suggested the Bhoys need to become more streetwise in Europe.

The striker added: "If you watch Serie A you should now that's the way they defend, and the way they man-mark at set-pieces.

"We need to be a little bit smarter and play the mind games. Sometimes we're too honest."

Samaras also praised Gary Hooper and is hoping that his strike partner, who has scored 22 goals this season, is called up by England coach Roy Hodgson.

"What makes him really special is he is always in the right spot in the box to put the ball in the back of the net," continued Samaras.

"He's had a great season and I hope for the club and for him that the England manager gives him a chance."

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