Former Celtic player Massimo Donati has branded the Hoops’ defence as their main weakness and expects Lazio to have a few chances in the teams’ Europa League encounter at Parkhead on Thursday night.
Speaking to Italian media outlet Radiosei [via Daily Record], the current Kilmarnock assistant manager said that the Serie A side will need to be wary of three of Celtic’s attacking players, but feels that Neil Lennon’s team are defensively suspect.
Donati told Radiosei [via Daily Record]: “[Odsonne] Edouard is a very good player, he’s talented and very physical. Lazio should also pay attention to James Forrest who is a fast, technical winger who could put them in danger. Ryan Christie is in great form. He is playing well and scoring with regularity.
“However, defensively they can give you chances and that is their weak point in my opinion.”
When analysing Celtic’s results in recent weeks compared to earlier in the season, Donati’s observations about their defence ought to be challenged.
The Hoops have not been in especially terrible form at the back of late, with just five goals conceded in their last nine matches in all competitions since the start of September.
They have conceded just once in their opening two Europa League group matches, restricting Rennes to seven shots in a 1-1 draw last month and allowing CFR Cluj only one more when they beat the Romanian club 2-0 at the start of October.
Bearing in mind that CFR Cluj scored four times in Glasgow in the Champions League qualifiers as recently as mid-August, there’s a case to be made for Celtic having improved defensively in the meantime.
That 3-4 defeat came in a month which saw Lennon’s team concede 10 goals in eight matches. Having only let in half as many goals in one match more since then, the statistics indicate that Celtic’s defence is notably stronger now than what it had been earlier this season.
Donati is right in pinpointing the threat of Edouard, Forrest and Christie, who between them have netted 29 goals already this season, but their recent results suggest that the Hoops’ defence is not as weak as their former player may be suggesting.
Celtic fans, do you agree with Donati about the team’s defence being a weakness or has he called this one wrong? Comment below with your views!
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