'Instinct kicks in' - Neil Lennon makes claim about Celtic Europa League chances
Neil Lennon has claimed that Celtic have a good chance of doing well in the Europa League final this season – provided they get past Zenit first.
The Hibernian manager was part of the last Hoops side to reach a European final, when the Bhoys took on Porto in the UEFA Cup Final in 2003, and he claims that overcoming Zenit in the second leg on Thursday would give the current Hoops side massive confidence.
“The more you progress, you get a sniff of it, the instinct kicks in – but get past Zenit first, that’s a big ask,” Lennon said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
“If they do then you are further down the line in the Europa League and that becomes very exciting for the players. Celtic needed the game on Thursday night to get their juices going again.”
The Bhoys take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of the last 32 tie, after dominating the first leg at Celtic Park for almost the entirety of the game, with Callum McGregor eventually scoring the winning goal with 12 minutes to go.
The Hoops should have a number of key players rested and refreshed for the game, after Brendan Rodgers made seven changes to his side for Sunday’s goalless draw against St Johnstone.
The Bhoys have a decent record in Russia, on their last visit there in 2012 a memorable last minute Georgios Samaras header gave the Hoops a 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow, which clinched their first ever away victory in the Champions League group stages.
A similar result against Zenit would give the Bhoys real belief that they can go far in the competition.
In other Celtic news, Charlie Nicholas has tipped Zenit to defeat Celtic in the second leg
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