Celtic full-back Mikael Lustig has warned his team-mates they cannot afford to go all out in attack as they try to overturn Juventus’ Champions League lead in Italy.
The Scottish champions and current Premier league leaders travel to Turin today with only the faintest hopes of stunning the Old Lady in tomorrow’s last-16 second leg, following their 3-0 defeat in Glasgow last month.
But the 26-year-old Swedish international, who will remain behind in Scotland alongside club captain Scott Brown after both picked up injuries, realises that a gung-ho approach will only see Celtic cut open again.
Celtic conceded a goal early in the first leg as Alessandro Matri pounced and were then hit with two late sucker-punches when Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic both struck as Neil Lennon’s men desperately sought a goal to take with them to Italy.
Having learned that harsh lesson, Lustig believes the manager will have to remain cautious – even given Juventus’ commanding lead.
He said: “We need to try to go forward and score some goals, but if we are too open in how we think, then Juventus are a really good team and will have a really good chance to score. So we will need to take it a little bit easy.”
Lustig, who is still recovering from a thigh strain he sustained in the first leg at Parkhead, was at Hampden yesterday to help conduct the draw for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.
Celtic were paired with Dundee United and will meet at Hampden on either 13 or 14 April.
The defender added: “It’s a tough draw. Dundee United are a very good team but, if you want to win the cup, you have to beat the team in front of you.
“Winning the cup would mean a lot. Hopefully the final will be our last game of the season and we can make something good out of that.”