Due to a raft of injuries and a period of indifferent form, it has be said that Celtic are the underdogs going into their Europa League last 32 tie against Zenit at Parkhead on Thursday night.
Perhaps if the likes of Leigh Griffiths, Dedryck Boyata and Patrick Roberts were available for the game it would be a different story, but injuries all a problem which all teams have to deal with.
However, one advantage that Brendan Rodgers’ side have over their Russian counterparts is that whilst the Hoops have returned to action after their winter break Zenit are still in theirs, and they haven’t played a competitive match since December.
They have played a series of friendlies in an attempt to keep their players match fit, but that doesn’t compare to playing in competitive matches, which the Bhoys have been for around three weeks.
The Bhoys should use this advantage by going at Zenit from the kick-off, with an intensity that the Russian side will find difficult to match.
If the incessant spell of attacking gives the Hoops the lead to take over to Russia, it will be a gamble worth taking, as they have the players such as James Forrest and Moussa Dembele, who have the speed and ability to give the Russians all kinds of problems early on.
It’s worked before to an extent – the early goal against PSG – there’s no reason why it can’t work against a team who haven’t played in three months.
In other Celtic news, Duncan Shearer believes that Ryan Christie should move to England on loan next season