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Neil Lennon – The Roman Challenge

7 November 2019

The Eternal City beckons for Celtic as the hoops travel to Rome to face Lazio in the Europa League.

After securing a 2-1 win at Celtic Park a fortnight ago, Celtic could all but qualify for the knock out stages by beating Lazio and at the same time knock the Serie A side out.

It’s a tall order, Celtic have never won in Italy on 12 occasions, Three draws being the best we have left with. Lazio showed they were a decent team at Celtic Park and will want to reverse the result in Glasgow.

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In the pre match press conference Celtic boss Neil Lennon echoed the difficulties facing Celtic.

“Realistically it is going to be very difficult to win here. Records are there to be broken.” Lennon said. “We are going to have to play very well and take our chances if and when they should arise.

“We know we probably won’t dominate possession the way we would do normally in home games, and we are going to have to show a huge amount of concentration and quality.

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“In the context of the group it is such an important game, and there is so much quality on show. It is my first time in Rome taking a team, so it’s a game we are very excited about and very motivated for.”

Lazio travelled to the San Siro on Sunday and beat AC Milan 2-1 and have actually won the three games they have played since losing to Celtic. They beat Fiorentina away 2-1 and won 4-0 at home against Torino.

“Lazio’s form of late has been really good.” Lennon continued. “They had another great victory in the San Siro on Sunday, so we are under no illusions how big the job is, to come here and try to get a result.

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“But the players are also on great form, they have played very well domestically and obviously top the group. We know that can change very quickly, but we are here to try to get a positive result and there is good belief amongst us to do that.”

Boli Bolingoli and Tom Rogic are set to miss out due to injury so Greg Taylor or Johnny Hayes will step in at left back, while Ryan Christie will take over from Rogic.

There was also some good news with Calum McGregor signing a five year contract which should boost the club ahead of the tie in Rome.

Issue 105 Print Copy

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.