Celtic vs Lazio preview
Tonight will see the best atmosphere in European football come alive again.
Theres simply no better place to be than in that hallowed park under the floodlights on a European night with exotic names and tanned adonis’ there to be left bewildered and entranced by the passionate and vocal faithful. And ideally beaten by the 11 on the actual park.
It’s the stuff of legends is that atmosphere and the bigger the team , the more the reaction .
The Roman’s ( once again ) will try to pacify and tax Caledonia , and just like last time they will arrive and realise their folly.
We have our own Cesar ( RIP ) thanks.
Boudica had them on the ropes, now it’s up to Broony to finish em once and for all and send em scampering with tail between legs once and for all.
Cheers for the roads . We prefer spuds btw.
Its the hardest test of the season so far. The strongest team on paper that we will face unless progress out of the group comes through , and even then we may not face a team as strong as we do tonight.
However we all know that we can and do raise our game for these events , fans and players.
The famous 12th man may well be the difference between the two teams as has been many a time before and will again no doubt.
We sit in an unexpected though thoroughly deserved top spot in group E and the three points tonight would surely see us go through in one of the two spots. This should be our aim, to win every or at least not lose at home to help create Fortress Parkhead again.
Ideally the other two group combatants draw in France where Cluj are slight favourites at evens.
I asked our resident Venice lurker and my best man Beppe to have a peruse of the local rags there to pick up on what they are saying about us ,, here is what he had to say,,,
“ In Italy they report that Ryan Christie has spoken about the issue of racism ahead of the game vs Lazio and confirmed they had some talks about this within the team. He know’s it is up to Uefa to deal with it but he would walk off if given signal.
Inzaghi said Celtic has shown , even last year , that they are a very tough team to play against in Europe , with a fantastic fanbase capable of carrying them through by giving an edge at home.
The Italian press predicted teams are,,
Celtic,,( 4-2-3-1 ) Forster , Frimpong , Jullien , Ajer , Bolingoli-Mbombo , Brown , McGregor , Forrest , Rogic , Elyounoussi , Edouard.
Lazio,, ( 3-5-2 ) Strakosha , Vavro , Acerbi , Bastos , Lazzari , Milinkovic , Leiva , Parolo , Jony , Caicedo , Immobile. “
The Frimpong and Rogic calls show their naivety and every single Hoops fan worth their salt knows that Ryan will be the very first name on that teamsheet tonight.
Frimps by all accounts had a great game at the weekend though its pretty clear Lenny see’s El Hamed as the stronger more reliable of the trio fighting for the right back berth at the moment. Likewise to start Tam would be a bridge too far in what will be a crowded midfield with them playing five. . Theres no way on God’s green and white earth that he would get anywhere near enough time on the ball to justify a starting berth and should be held in reserve if needs be later in game.
The crowded midfield will more than likely be key to the clash and whoever comes out on top should take the points. We will need all of our middle of the park bhoys to be on fine form if we are to take anything at all and Ryan especially Im expecting to hussle until he drops.
Well the weather for starters is on our side. Rome basks in a lovely 24 degrees tonight while a crisp wee 11 is predicted at Celtic Park (so wrap up). A bit out of the comfort zone for the visitors let’s hope.
However make no mistake , taking anything at all from this game would be one hell of an achievement plus a huge feather in Lennys cap. We are facing some seriously good players and should not expect anything but defeat.
Im of the opinion that as long as we give a good account of ourselves and dont get steamrollered then we can ( I hope so anyway ) say fair enough and walk away a bit wiser and with a bit of much needed continental experience no matter what happens.
We have zero right to expect anything and should all recognize that simple fact.
As is usual in these games not conceding in the first 20 minutes is crucial and a fast strong start to get the crowd awakened and fully vocally behind us is called for .
The educated neutral will more than likely have us losing by a couple goals.
The bleeds green and white locals will probably call it 2-1 Celtic.
Key players will be big Kris who is likely to be targeted by a quality striker in Immobile and our flying winger James who will have a hard job finding space on the right.
He’s a difference maker and it will be rare he’s running at a three man defence. He gets the better of his man and there’s no natural left back to cover they have a huge problem.
Its also essential Odsonne doesnt get isolated up front attempting to control long balls with little support.
The three will fancy their chances against our one ( I assume they come up against a duo more often ) so the support or lack of I Wanna gets may well determine the outcome here.
My own score prediction,, a great night with a couple each to share the spoils.
COME ON YOU BHOYS IN GREEN !!!
The above is by Mahe. Please consider an article contribution from time to time.