The disco lights will be on, Celtic Park will be packed, can the patched up team do us proud? It’s matchday 2 of the Europa League Group Stage as Bayer Leverkusen visit Celtic Park in what will be a difficult task given our current injury problems and lack of form.
Saturday was the latest game where we dropped points in the league with a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park. Meanwhile Leverkusen won 1-0 against Mainz at home. They currently sit in 2nd place in the Bundesliga, 3 points behind Bayern Munich. With only won defeat so far this season against Dortmund 4-3 in an instant classic match, Leverkusen have won 4 and drawn 1 in their other games.
The Germans opened their Europa League Group stage with a 2-1 home win over Ferencvaros. Goal scorers were Palacios and Wirtz. They have a young attacking squad under new manager, Gerardo Seoane, with 18-year-old Florian Wirtz having scored in the last five games and attracting interest from bigger teams. They have a couple of well known faces, former Celtic right back Jeremie Frimpong and Czech striker Patrick Schick who scored a couple of goals against Scotland in the Euro’s.
As said previously, we are in the middle of an injury crisis, there is some signs of recovery with Giakoumakis training after his injury scare last week turned out to be not quite as bad as first feared. Callum McGregor and Kyogo have returned to training although Ange Postecoglou said in the presser that its unlikely any of the trio will start the match however we could see some of them have some game time. Juranovic has a hamstring injury and joins the injured list.
Celtic do have a decent record against German teams, off the top of my head, results at Celtic Park have been ok, a draw with Bayern Munich in 2003 beating Leipzig in 2018, beat Stuttgart in 2003, Cologne back in 1992.
If Celtic avoid defeat tonight then that for me is a good result, my main concern is Pittodrie on Sunday where it will be imperative we win. If McGregor, Kyogo or Giakoumakis can have some game time tonight then it will put us in a better position for Sunday.
Mick Kane hails from Glasgow. He has been hooked on Celtic since he went to his first game when he was 7. Celtic beat Hamilton 8-3 at Celtic Park on the 3rd of January 1987. His favourite player at the time, Brian McClair scored four goals.
He started going regular as a 16 year old when Celtic played at Hampden for the season, being a Southsider it meant a short train journey to get to Hampden. From then he has had a season ticket travelled around Europe for games as Celtic became the dominant force in Scottish football again. A nice change from growing up during Rangers run to 9 in a row.