Celtic assistant manager Chris Davies has warned that the Scottish champions need to be aware of Zenit St. Petersburg’s counter-attacking prowess and set-pieces if they are to get a result against the Russians in Thursday’s Europa League clash.
The Hoops welcome Zenit to Celtic Park as they return to continental competition for the first time since being knocked out of the Champions League in November.
The Bhoys go into the game after a recent patchy run of performances but will have the benefit of being well into the domestic campaign while Zenit are still in pre-season.
Davies believes Zenit are a “Champions League level” team after watching a lot of them and thinks they will pose a substantial threat to the Hoops.
“Zenit are Champions League level. I have spent a lot of time watching and analysing them. They are a team that are good in possession but also very good on the counter attack and they can be a threat from set-plays,” Davies said, as quoted by Celtic’s official Twitter account.
????️ CD: "Zenit are Champions League level. I have spent a lot of time watching and analysing them. They are a team that are good in possession but also very good on the counter attack and they can be a threat from set-plays." #CELZEN
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 13, 2018
Celtic’s recent results in Europe have been poor and Brendan Rodgers will need to have his side on top form if they are to have a chance of booking their place in the next round against Roberto Mancini’s side.
The Hoops warmed up for the clash with Zenit with a shaky 3-2 win over Partick Thistle on Saturday in the Scottish Cup after James Forrest’s hat-trick set-up a quarter-final clash with Morton in March.
Brendan Rodgers’ side will be without Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong, Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts for the visit of Mancini’s side in Thursday night.
In other Celtic news, Stan Collymore has made a brutally honest admission about the Gers and bitter rivals Celtic.