Celtic ‘can revive Europa League bid after rediscovering form’ says striker

Celtic's Odsonne Edouard celebrates his opening goal against Hearts. Picture: SNS
Celtic's Odsonne Edouard celebrates his opening goal against Hearts. Picture: SNS
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Odsonne Edouard insists Celtic are ready to turn the tables on RB Leipzig and re-ignite their hopes of Europa League progress this week.

The Scottish champions know only a victory over the German side at Celtic Park on Thursday night is likely to be enough to keep them in genuine contention to qualify from Group B and reach the last 32 of the competition.

Celtic were outplayed in a 2-0 defeat in Leipzig two weeks ago, leaving them with just three points from their first three games in the group.

But Brendan Rodgers’ men are in buoyant mood after scoring 13 goals in their three domestic fixtures since then, culminating in Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing of Hearts which moved them just a point behind the Gorgie side at the top of the Premiership.

Club record £9 million signing Edouard, who scored twice at the weekend, is confident Celtic can carry that momentum into the crucial showdown against RB Leipzig.

“It will be a totally different game to the one in Germany,” said Edouard. “It’s a home match for us, so it’s going to be totally different.

“There is a good dynamic about our team right now and we are in good form. We are always working harder to get better, trying to improve our standards to get the wins we want.

“Do we need to win on Thursday? Well, we want to win every match, so that will be the same against Leipzig. We know it’s a really important game for us in the group, so we want to go into it with the best team approach and mindset.”

Edouard is poised to make his 50th appearance for Celtic on Thursday. The 20-year-old has now scored 11 goals in the current campaign, matching his tally from the whole of last season which he spent on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.

He admits to occasionally pining for his home life back in France since making the move but is now relishing the responsibility as Celtic’s No 1 striker following the departure of his compatriot Moussa Dembele and the current unavailability of Leigh Griffiths.

“It is just over a year now that I have been here and I am feeling really happy,” he added. 
“Of course, it is difficult to be without my family, but that is a risk that you need to take in life and in football if you want to follow your dreams.

“That was a risk that I had to take when I chose to come here and I feel as though I have grown up as a person because I did it. It’s not a problem for me to be here, I’m happy.

“I do lots of things when I’m not playing, but it is really all about when I am playing football. That’s all that counts.

“Within the dressing room, I get on well with everyone. I have lots of good friends in there. I’m taking English lessons once a week, but I am trying to fit two into the week if I can.

“I don’t feel that pressure on me, being the main striker right now. It is natural for me. I work well under pressure. I just try to work as hard as I can and to do well for the team in every game.”