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UEFA Champions League Preview: Buckley warns St Pat´s, Celtic primed to progress

20 July 2014 15:04

St Patrick's Athletic manager Liam Buckley has warned of thinking too far ahead going into their UEFA Champions League clash with Legia.

Buckley's men meet the Polish side in the second leg of their second qualifying round tie on Wednesday having drawn 1-1 in Warsaw last week.

With an away goal in the bank, the Dublin-based outfit are well positioned to progress and potentially set up a lucrative tie with Scottish champions Celtic.

Ronny Deila's Celtic side boast a 1-0 lead midway through their tie with KR of Reykjavik, but Buckley is eager for his players not to let their minds wander as to what may await them.

"Celtic would be a fantastic tie as they're such a big club and have a huge fan base in Ireland - I'm a fan of them myself," he told The Mirror.

"But the minute you start looking too far ahead is when you slip up and fall flat.

"We need to be as good, if not better, than we were in Poland the other night if we want to progress."

Like Champions League regulars Celtic, former European champions Steaua Bucharest have work to do in securing progression.

A 1-0 win over Stromsgodset in Norway does, however, put them in a strong position to face Aktobe or Dinamo Tbilisi in the next round, with the Kazakh champions holding a one-goal advantage in that tie.

Sparta Prague and Ludogorets can consider themselves all but through thanks to 7-0 and 4-0 first-leg wins over Levadia and Dudelange respectively.

However, the likes of Malmo and BATE need to turn in a positive showing after goalless draws against Ventspils and Skenderbeu.

Maccabi Tel-Aviv meet Santa Coloma in Cyprus knowing Zrinjski or Maribor await, while Partizan travel to the Faroe Islands knowing a 3-0 first-leg win makes them favourites to progress past HB.

The New Saints and Zalgiris will hope home advantage can help them turn around deficits against Slovan Bratislava and Dinamo Zagreb.

Sheriff or Sutjeska await the Welsh side, while Aalborg or Dinamo Zagreb are the motivation for Zalgiris.

Rabotnicki against HJK and Cliftonville versus Debrecen could also come down to away goals, after the first legs ended goalless, while Qarabag welcome Valletta to Azerbaijan after picking up a 1-0 win in Malta.

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Premiership table

# Team MP D P
1 17 +22 38
2 17 +10 34
3 17 +9 34
4 17 +12 33
5 17 +6 32
6 17 -2 26
7 17 +0 21
8 17 -5 21
9 17 +3 20
10 17 -15 14
11 17 -20 9
12 17 -20 8

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