Former Rangers winger and Russia international Andrei Kanchelskis isn’t confident that his countrymen at Zenit St Petersburg will be able to cope with the atmosphere at Parkead in the upcoming Europa League clash against Celtic.
Kanchelskis has claimed that the atmosphere will be too much for Roberto Mancini’s side to deal with, especially if the Hoops score an early goal.
“I myself played against Celtic – the atmosphere there is crazy…60,000 fans who support their team and make an incredible noise” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“The support they give their team really drives Celtic forward.
“Zenit’s best chance is to get at Celtic on the counter-attack.
“But if Celtic get off to a fast start and score in the first 15 minutes, it will be a very difficult night for Zenit indeed because that will encourage their fans even more.”
Zenit are currently in second place in the Russian league, and come into the match on the back of their winter break, as they haven’t played a competitive match since December.
The Hoops’ last match saw them labour to an unconvincing 3-2 Scottish Cup victory over Partick Thistle.
The game’s main talking points were the hat-trick scored by player of the year candidate James Forrest, and the dreadful performance by Jozo Simunovic, who was arguably at fault for both Thistle goals and who seems likely to be dropped for the match against Zenit.
If the Bhoys are to qualify for the next round of the Europa League, they will have to improve their home form in Europe, as they haven’t won a European group stage/last 32 match at Celtic Park since defeating Astra in the Europa League group stages in 2014.
In other Celtic news, Can long-term injury victim be the surprise package for Celtic v Zenit?