Brendan Rodgers: Celtic '˜keen to impose own style' against Anderlecht

Cetic manager Brendan Rodgers has warned that there are no easy games at Champions League level, as he addressed the media ahead of his side's meeting with Anderlecht in Brussels.

Brendan Rodgers addresses the media during a press conference in Brussels ahead of the Anderlecht clash. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Brendan Rodgers addresses the media during a press conference in Brussels ahead of the Anderlecht clash. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Rodgers said: “This is a game both teams will be looking at to have that realistic chance of playing in Europe after Christmas.

”All games at this level are very tough, and we have experienced that over the past few seasons.”

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Celtic suffered their heaviest home defeat in Europe earlier this month when they were beaten 5-0 by Paris Saint-Germain.

Anthony Ralston (right), seen here with Kristoffer Ajer, has a slight knee injury but will be fit to face Hibs on Saturday. Picture: SNS Group

The Hoops also lost 7-0 to Barcelona during last season’s competition - their heaviest away defeat in Europe.

But Rodgers, who led his side to respectable draws at home to and away to Manchester City as well as away to Borussia Monchengladbach, believes the key for Celtic is focusing on imposing their own style on matches.

The Parkhead side will face Anderlecht barely 36 hours after being named as the top ranked passing team in Europe - beating the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Ajax - according to a football data company.

Rodgers continued: “The idea is to bring in our own game to these games. We did that in the competition last year after the first group match.

Anthony Ralston (right), seen here with Kristoffer Ajer, has a slight knee injury but will be fit to face Hibs on Saturday. Picture: SNS Group

“We are looking to impose our style in the game but we respect the opponents.

“It’s a beautiful pitch, the stadium is nice and compact so it should be a good atmosphere. We are looking forward to it.

“We want to qualify to the Champions League, come in and do well in it. That, of course, is our objective. There’s never an easy game.”

Rodgers also gave an update on Anthony Ralston, with the 18-year-old defender omitted from Scot Gemmill’s Scotland Under-21 squad.

“Anthony has a slight tear of his meniscus, which allows him to train and work. It won’t need an operation.

“He will be available for us at the weekend [at home to Hibernian] and then he will have a rest. We will see where he is at after the international break,” Rodgers added.