Next Game

Aberdeen v Celtic

Sunday, 10 May 2015, 14:30

Scots Prem

Celtic Park

Last Game

Celtic 5 - 0 Dundee

Friday, 01 May 2015, 19:45

Scots Prem

Country united against Celtic

Manager Viktor Kumykov claims Shakhter Karagandy will have the whole of Kazakhstan behind his team when they take on Celtic in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off at the Astana Arena on Tuesday night.

Last Updated: 20/08/13 at 15:04 Post Comment

Neil Lennon: Faces a team with support from the whole country

Neil Lennon: Faces a team with support from the whole country

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Kazakh club have moved the match 114 miles away from their own ground to the artificial surface in Astana, looking to take a step closer to becoming the first team from the former Soviet republic to reach the Champions League.

Kumykov claims everyone in the country will put aside their usual allegiances to root for his side in what has turned into something of a national event.

"We believe the supporters are very important in this game," said the Russian.

"We think there will be many supporters there, not only from Karaganda (the main city in Karagandy province) and Astana but from other parts of the country and we believe and hope the whole nation will be behind us."

Shakhter disposed of Belarusian side BATE Borisov in the second qualifying round before knocking out Skenderbeu of Albania.

However, Kumykov claimed his club were only learning the game compared to Celtic, as he analysed his side's chances of making history.

"This game is going to be very difficult for us," he said.

"We are newcomers to the Champions League, Celtic is a very experienced club and are former champions of Europe.

"We are students and they are teachers. Our main task is to obtain the experience of playing in the Champions League and I am hoping we will be able to show our best game.

"We recognise that Celtic are more experienced and stronger than us.

"But football is illogical and you cannot be sure about anything.

"In football, the strongest side does not always win and there are many examples of that, even in the Champions League.

"We have watched all their European games, the game against Aberdeen and the friendly against Liverpool.

"They are a very good side, with very good players.

"Celtic also play aggressively so we expect it to be a very tough game."

Kumykov was less forthcoming when asked to comment on the revelation that the Kazakhstan club had again killed a sheep in order to bring them good luck.

The sacrifice took place at the stadium before the players trained but the Shakhter boss tried to play it down.

"This is a play-off round and we decided not to break this tradition," he said.

"It is quite important for us. I would not like to disclose in detail."

Shakhter Karagandy go into the game on the back of a 2-1 league win over Astana at the same stadium where they will take on the Hoops.

Captain Andrei Finonchenko, who scored the winning goal as a substitute on Saturday, is hoping to take the next step in an unexpected Champions League journey.

"When we played BATE, we did not believe we would reach this stage," he said.

"But after we beat BATE and then Skenderbeu the players became more confident.

"We are highly motivated going into this game and hope to do our best."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ice work John.. have to agree with everything. Never measure your wealth in money.

wexford_blue
We're Not All Jealous Guys...

I

s it the same people that complain about Chelsea that complain about Mayweather? You should by now know what to expect from both, if you can't appreciate how good they are at nullifying their opponents then don't watch them.

Noz2k
Chelsea: This Ending Always Justifies The Means

I

do concede though, that getting rid of Luiz has made them less entertaining. In the same way that driving with both eyes open is less exciting, but probably a good idea.

megabrow (cufc)
Chelsea: This Ending Always Justifies The Means

Footer 365

Stephen McManus says Motherwell are full of confidence

Stephen McManus says Motherwell are full of confidence despite being adrift in the Scottish Premiership playoff place.

Arsene Wenger only wants to bring 'world-class' players to Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has revealed he is only looking to add “top, world-class players” to his Arsenal squad this summer.

Hull 1-3 Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez nets twice to move Arsenal level on points with Man City

Alexis Sanchez scored twice in the first half to help Arsenal coast past Hull with a 3-1 win at the KC Stadium.

Mail Box

Blaming Van Gaal For United Slump...

Wayne Rooney in midfield, the same balls aimed at Marouane Fellaini...Louis van Gaal has to find a solution. And a Burnley fan embraces relegation...

Shouldn't We Give Players Time?

Do we really want to throw out the baby with the bathwater every single summer? We also have a Man United fan who wants massive investment. And more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company