Five talking points ahead of Anderlecht v Celtic

Celtic will look to kick-start their Champions League campaign when they take on Anderlecht on Wednesday night.

Can Celtic bounce back after their opening day humbling at the hands of PSG? Picture: SNS
Can Celtic bounce back after their opening day humbling at the hands of PSG? Picture: SNS

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Slovakia boss Jan Kozak wary of Scotland's Celtic factor

Here, Andy Newport looks at the talking points ahead of the crucial clash at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

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CAN THE HOOPS BOUNCE BACK FROM THEIR PSG NIGHTMARE?

To say the Scottish champions got their Group B campaign off to a poor start would be putting it mildly. The mega-rich French outfit rolled out their £400million strike force of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani at Parkhead two weeks ago as they ran riot during a sensational display of all-out attack. In truth, though, the Hoops were never likely to challenge a side able to dip into the cash reserves of oil-rich Qatar any time they need a new player and boss Brendan Rodgers will believe his side - buoyed by their latest Old Firm victory over the weekend - will be better matched against the Belgians.

STRIKING DILEMMA FOR RODGERS

Rodgers has a huge decision on his hand as his side jets out to Brussels. Does he go with in-form frontman Griffiths, fresh from netting against Rangers on Saturday, or hand Dembele a recall. The French ace is still short on match fitness after his start to the season was disrupted by a hamstring complaint but the 21-year-old proved against the likes of Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach last term that he is a man for the big European occasion.

DEDRYCK BOYATA BACK TO FILL GAPS IN CELTIC DEFENCE

It is a massive boost for Celtic that they will have Belgian international Boyata back in their ranks when they run out in his home town. The Glasgow giants have had to rely upon midfielder Nir Bitton as a make-shift centre-back for much of the season so far but it is an experiment Rodgers will be keen to avoid repeating given how uncomfortable the Israeli has looked at times. Boyata returned against Dundee last week and gave a solid display at Ibrox over the weekend as he resumed his partnership with Jozo Simunovic. With that pairing re-united Celtic should be a tougher nut to crack.

WILL IT BE AWAY-DAY BLUES ONCE MORE FOR THE GREEN HALF OF GLASGOW?

The Hoops’ troubles on the road in the Champions League group stages are no secret. Of the 30 games they have played away from Celtic Park in Europe’s most lucrative competition, they have managed just one win - their 2012 victory over Spartak Moscow - and three draws. Two of those stalemates did come under Rodgers last term as they bounced back from a 7-0 drubbing by Barcelona to claim a point at both City and Mochengladbach. With Celtic and Anderlecht likely to be fighting it out for third place at best, the Northern Irishman could do with his side going one better this time.

CAN RUDDERLESS ANDERLECHT MAKE WAVES?

The Belgian champions are currently without a manager after sacking former boss Rene Weiler. The Swiss coach claimed the Jupiler Pro League title and also led Anderlecht to the last eight of the Europa League last season, but was axed after seeing his side win just two of their opening seven league games. Club coaches Nicolas Frutos, David Sesa and Thomas Binggeli have been given the caretaker duties and masterminded Saturday’s come-from-behind win over Waasland-Beveren. But with the head-to-heads with Celtic pivotal to their European ambitions, they cannot afford another slip-up on Wednesday.