A spot in the knockout round of the Europa League awaits Celtic if they can beat the leaders of Group B Red Bull Salzburg at Celtic Park tonight.
But with Salzburg flying in the Austrian Bundesliga and having taken maximum points in Europe’s second-tier competition, defeating them will be no easy feat.
On top of that, Marco Rose’s men have already claimed victory over Celtic this season, putting into perspective how difficult a challenge the SPL side face. Brendan Rodgers, however, is heading into the game with only victory in mind despite what his team is set to come up against and the fact that they actually only need just a point to secure qualification.
“It is unworkable [to play for draw], as a coach, a manager… especially when your game is based around an offensive game and aggressive game,” Rodgers was quoted saying by Press Association Sport (via BT Sport).
“Our intent is always to go and win. Of course there are certain stages in the game, especially towards the end when you are in an advantageous position when you can manage the game. But I think it is always dangerous to go into a game thinking you only need a point.”
Assessing the attacking threat of Salzburg who have been scoring goals for fun in both the Austrian Bundesliga and Europa League, sitting back and playing for a draw does pose a risk given that Celtic’s opponents look capable of finding the back of the net regardless of how others set up against them.
Therefore, Rodgers is absolutely making the right call by deciding to take the game to the Austrian champions and not playing for a point.
And at Celtic Park with the likes of Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and Ryan Christie, there is no reason why the Bhoys cannot pull it off.