Atletico Madrid Vs. Celtic, UEFA Europa League 2011: Matchday 1

Radamel Falcao Garcia of FC Porto celebrates during the UEFA Europa League Final between FC Porto and SC Braga. Falcao was transferred to Atletico Madrid in the summer, and his new team takes on Celtic in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Atletico Madrid have the talent to score against anyone, but they've started flat in La Liga. Meanwhile, Celtic look good in the SPL, but do they have the talent to contain Falcao and co.?

Celtic lost in their Europa League qualifying tie against FC Sion, but they're here anyway. Why? Because Sion went and fielded five ineligible players. They've appealed through a bajillion different channels and been shot down, probably because they fielded ineligible players. This is also known as breaking the rules. Tough crap, Sion. Celtic's reward is a Europa League group with the very tough Atletico Madrid, who they get to face just three days before they have to play an Old Firm Derby against Rangers. 

Atleti are expected to bring out all of the big guns for this game. New signings Radamel Falcao, Diego and Arda Turan are expected to be in the 18-man squad, while defender Diego Godin should return as well. Atletico have not looked good to start the season, but a team with their firepower has to get going eventually. Their defense is talented, though questionable while their center of midfield is not up to the standard of the rest of the team, but there's no reason to believe Atleti can't score goals.

Celtic will be without Anthony Stokes and Scott Brown through injury, two tough losses, but they'll be able to field a strong squad. Midfielders Ki Sung-Yueng and Joe Ledley are in great form, along with striker Gary Hooper. Though this is hardly a major accomplishment these days - especially at home - Celtic have recorded shutouts in their last two SPL matches.

Atletico Madrid vs. Celtic

Time: 3:00 pm ET, 9:00 pm local

Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain

Television: GolTV (USA), ESPN (UK)

Online: (International)

Keep it on our Europa League StoryStream for updates across the competition on Matchday 1, and head on over to SB Nation Soccer for coverage of footy from all across the globe.

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