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Can Celtic Finally Record A Champions League Home Win?

Celtic players arrive before match with Hearts

It may only be matchday three in the Champions League, but Celtic are already drifting to the periphery in a fiercely competitive group. The Hoops are once again in danger of becoming also-rans in Europe’s premier competition – and the initial aim of collating a respectable points haul looks increasingly forlorn.

A Decade Without A Home Champions League Win For Celtic

Celtic Aim To End Champions League Pain

Atlético Madrid are in town, a rare trip to Glasgow for the Madrileños, and their excellent form is unlikely to provide Brendan Rodgers with much comfort. It has been ten years since Celtic and their vociferous supporters last indulged in a home victory in the Champions League, starving the next generation of glory nights and golden memories.

Read More: Brendan Rodgers & Celtic Seek Champions League Improvement

In their opening two defeats in the competition, the Scottish side were resilient, spirited, and a tad unfortunate. They were far from outclassed by either Feyenoord or Lazio, and their performances merited more, yet individual errors eroded any promise. The hard-luck story has become wearisome, and they are too big a club to tolerate continued fruitless and all-too-short European adventures.

Champions League Misery For Brendan Rodgers

Despite achieving unprecedented domestic success at Celtic, Rodgers is still to prove his worth in Europe’s premier competition. He recently earned the unwanted title of the worst manager to have overseen 20 games in the Champions League. Just twice has the Northern Irishman guided his side to three points, and his risible attitude towards pragmatism has contributed to such a statistical disaster.

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In contrast, a manager not opposed to a stodgy and stifling approach will be in the away dugout tonight. Diego Simeone can be, at times, overly cautious and restrictive. His outlook, though, coupled with the calibre of players at his disposal, is tailor-made to expose and exploit the soft underbelly of the hosts.

Celtic Look Motivated And The Team Is Settled

Celtic are not likely to deviate too much from the side that brushed Hearts aside at the weekend. Due to injuries and tepid performances in the early weeks of the campaign, the manager was constantly tweaking and changing in search of the right blend, but he appears satisfied with his current XI.

Matt O’Riley has been the shining light for The Hoops this season. His velvet touch and newly found killer instinct have fired his team to the top of the league. The 22-year-old has risen to prominence, but the insatiable Kyogo Furuhashi continues to be the talisman.

Europe League After Christmas Best Hope For Celtic

Celtic’s bullish optimism towards last sixteen qualification has gradually faded, and third place and the Europa League after Christmas is a more practical target. Even that appears improbable unless they can muster points from a daunting double-header with Atlético.

They are overdue another famous European night under the lights, yet it remains hard to foresee jubilant scenes at 9:45 pm tonight.


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