Celtic travel to Germany this week to face RB Leipzig on in a Europa League clash which could make or break their ambitions in the competition.
With three points on the board from their opening two fixtures, Celtic are in a decent position from which to qualify from a tricky looking group.
A 3-1 defeat away at Salzburg last time out suggested that the Hoops will need to step up a level tomorrow night against a side who are widely regarded as the favourites to top Group B.
The Bundesliga’s new kid on the block are a side who, like Celtic, have genuine aspirations of playing in the Champions League, so nothing less than victory over Celtic will satisfy the expectations of the supporters.
Ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture, RB Leipzig’s marauding left-back Marcel Halstenberg delivered his pre-match thoughts and hinted that the hosts fancy their chances due to Brendan Rodgers’ possession-based philosophy (via Daily Record).
“We definitely want three points. Celtic has other qualities from Augsburg or Rosenborg.
“Celtic would rather play football from the back. But that suits our game. They are not typically British and avoid playing long balls from defence.”
Whilst Rodgers is certainly not a pioneer of the possession-based style of play, he is certainly a loyal advocate of keeping the ball and playing the game in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
If Celtic have possession then they cannot concede, so the theory goes at least, but sides who typically bide their time before capitalising on the mistakes of their opponents know that it only takes one individual mistake for the masterplan to unfold.
And that’s exactly what Halstenberg is alluding to with his pre-match comments, as the Bundesliga outfit possess excellent players in Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen who will be ready to gobble up any scraps that the Hoops may provide tomorrow evening.
It’s a word of warning from Halstenberg which has perhaps been designed to force Rodgers to compromise on his principles, but regardless of his motivation it’s fair to say that Celtic will need to deliver a near-perfect performance to clinch a historic away win.
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