Celtic will face Manchester City tonight in their second Champions League group game as they look to shake off the disappointment of a 7-0 loss to Barcelona in the opening match.
While few are giving Brendan Rodgers’ side a chance of finishing above their English opponents in the group, a result tonight could go a long way to realising their ambition of finishing ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach in third place, thereby securing European football after Christmas.
Here is everything you need to know ahead of tonight’s clash...
Where to watch: BT Sport 2 (programme starts at 7pm)
Celtic team (4-2-3-1): Gordon, Lustig, Toure, Sviatchenko, Tierney, Bitton, Brown, Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair, Dembele. Subs: De Vries, Simunovic, Griffiths, Gamboa, Armstrong, Roberts, McGregor
Unavailable: Kris Commons and Efe Ambrose are not included in Celtic’s squad.
Team news: Dorus de Vries has trained this week but is still not 100 per cent with Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers unwilling to take a risk, so Craig Gordon will definitely start in goal. After coming off the bench on Saturday, Leigh Griffiths could return to the starting XI.
Man City team: Bravo, Zabaleta, Otamendi, Kolarov, Clichy, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva, Sterling, Nolito, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Stones, Sane, Navas, Iheanacho, Fernando.
Unavailable: Kevin De Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Fabian Delph, along with back-up ‘keeper Angus Gunn, are all out.
Team news: Belgian duo Kompany and De Bruyne flew to Barcelona to see top surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat for treatment on respective groin and hamstring problems and could be out for three and a half weeks. Delph is out with a muscle injury, while Gunn could be out for a week to 10 days with a hip problem.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Key Celtic player: Scott Sinclair. We saw the potential for Sinclair to turn the game at the drop of a hat in the Nou Camp. His surging run, which came completely out of the blue, displayed his pace and power, and led to the penalty which should have drawn his side level at 1-1. Again tonight he’ll get few opportunities in which to turn on the jets. When he does, he’ll need to make it count.
Key Manchester City player: Sergio Aguero. Even if Celtic defend tremendously tonight, City are still going to get a couple of very good chances, and they’ll likely fall to their talismanic striker. If Aguero is on form, this could be a walk in the park for the visitors. If he’s misfiring, Celtic have a chance.
Last meeting: The clubs have never met in a competitive match. The last friendly meeting occurred in 2009 with City winning 2-1.
Odds: Celtic 8/1, Draw 4/1, Manchester City 4/11 (odds courtesy of BoyleSports)
What Celtic are saying: “Our game is based about aggression, the intensity with which we play. We know City are one of the leading teams in Europe but somehow you have to try to find a way. World-class players are hard to tie down, because they will always find space. What you have to try to do is negate that space as much as possible and try to negate their influence on the game.” (Brendan Rodgers, Celtic boss)
What Manchester City are saying: “I saw the game against Rangers here and how intense they were. In Barcelona it was different; they were more waiting, more passive. Against Rangers they were so aggressive, high pressing and aggressive. That is what I expect tomorrow night.” (Pep Guardiola, Manchester City boss)