Roberto Mancini has said that Zenit St Petersburg will have to keep their eye on Celtic’s danger man Moussa Dembele, ahead of the Europa League clash on Thursday.
The former Italy defender believes that the Frenchman is a threat to his side’s potential progression in the competition and confesses to being a fan of the 21-year-old attacker.
The ex-Manchester City manager isn’t expecting too many surprises from the Hoops given that during his time in the Premier League he had a number of Celtic players under his tenure.
As quoted in The Scottish Sun, Mancini said: “I like Dembele as a player. I knew about him when he was at Fulham. He’s still young, but he’s a good player. He needs to improve, but he will.
“I expect him to be Celtic’s main threat on Thursday.
“I had three players at Manchester City that are at Celtic now.
“I had Scott Sinclair, Dedryck Boyata and Olivier Ntcham.
“They were all young at the time, but good players. Nir Bitton was also on trial with us at City too.
“I know a lot of Celtic’s players having worked with them.”
The Bhoys will have to be at their very best if they are going to progress in the European competition as Zenit are a tough prospect.
And they will have to do so without Dedryk Boyata who is sidelined through injury along with a host of other names.
Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths will all miss the first-leg but Jack Hendry could make his debut in Europe at the back if Kristoffer Ajer doesn’t make the starting line-up.
There were doubts over the Norwegian defender after he limped off the field of play against Kilmarnock but he played a full 90 minutes against Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup at the weekend.
In other Celtic news, triple Hoops injury blow means the team must show their worth.