Celtic will be stronger when they face Valencia in February, says Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a training session in Lennoxtown 1:55
Brendan Rodgers expects Celtic to be in 'a really strong position' after the January transfer window.

Brendan Rodgers expects his Celtic squad to be in "a really strong position" by the time Valencia visit Celtic Park in the Europa League on February 14.

The Hoops were drawn against the La Liga side in the last 32 of the Europa League on Monday, with the first leg to take place in Glasgow and the return fixture to be held at the Mestalla on February 21.

Valencia dropped down from the Champions League having finished third in a group in which they took four points off Manchester United.

Their domestic form has been disappointing and Los Che sit 14th in La Liga, having drawn 10 of their 16 games so far this season, but Rodgers is expecting a stiff test.

"It is another game against a team with a great history [who are] one of the great teams in Spain," Rodgers said.

"It is a long way off but we are delighted to be in there and it is going to be a really good game.

"If you look at their league [form] it has been a difficult season for them but I think over the past few years it has been a difficult period for Valencia.

Also See:

"But this season against Manchester United, I thought in the game at Old Trafford they played very, very well.

"They were what you would describe as a typical Spanish team - technically very good, good idea tactically of the game - and they have got some very good players, so it will be a tough test."

Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring for Saints
Image: Stuart Armstrong left Celtic to join Southampton

Rodgers has made no secret of his desire to strengthen his squad in January - with adding another striker a particular area of focus - after a difficult summer that saw Stuart Armstrong and Moussa Dembele leave the club.

And he is optimistic Celtic will be in a stronger position by February.

"By the time that period comes around we will have had the mid-season break which will be so important for us," Rodgers said.

"Along with that, hopefully players will have returned from injuries by then and [we will have] added to the squad.

"By the time, the game comes in February we would like to believe we would be in a really strong position."

Celtic missed the opportunity to go top of the Scottish Premiership on Sunday when they lost 2-0 to Hibernian at Easter Road.

Rodgers believe Celtic lack depth after a frustrating summer and is determined to remedy that in January.

"I do not think yesterday's result reaffirmed anything that we did not already know," Rodgers said.

"It is clear in terms of the squad that we don't have that same strength in depth we have had in the last couple of years.

"In the summer we lost players late and that did not really allow us the opportunity to strengthen.

"But we are very clear within the club about what it is we want to do. We know we need to strengthen and that is something we will look to do."

Play Super 6

Play Super 6

Predict 6 correct scores for your chance to win £250K.

Around Sky