Zenit legend Aleksei Igonin has given his thoughts on tomorrow’s Europa League clash, as Celtic welcome the Russian outfit to Parkhead.
Speaking in an interview as quoted by the Scottish Sun, the former Russian international defender believes that the Zenit squad will be too much for the Hoops, who will just try to bombard the heart of their defence.
“I have no doubts the Scots will endlessly load high balls in from the wings in their own half. So it is important Zenit stand up to this onslaught early on.
“But I am certain Zenit will score at least once. Aleksandr Kokorin is in great form, but the best player at the moment is Emiliano Rigoni.”
Brendan Rodgers men will be boosted by the fact that the former Chelsea star Branislav Ivanovic is not playing, as his European competition experience would be a huge boost for Zenit.
Ivanovic has won both the Champions League and the Europa League during his career, and this winning pedigree would have been a huge edge for the Zenit players.
This is something that Igonin think Celtic can utilise in their favour, as Ivanovic is crucial for Zenit’s success.
“My only concern is the loss of Branislav Ivanovic. That will make Zenit more vulnerable in defence.”
Celtic will need to capitalise on this injury, as the second leg fixture is more likely to see a full strength Zenit team playing at home, representing a much tougher challenge.
The game is scheduled to kick-off tomorrow evening at 20:05, with the reverse fixture the following week in Russia.
In other Celtic, it has been revealed that Brendan Rodgers had his eye on this current Hoops star during his time with Liverpool.