Celtic face Feyenoord this evening in the UEFA Champions League. The game is essentially a dead rubber for both clubs with Brendan Rodgers’ side already out and Arne Slot’s team heading for the Europa League; however, with our last win in Europe coming over two years ago, it is a perfect opportunity to get a win, which would be the first in a decade at Celtic Park in the Champions League.
Celtic were beaten by Kilmarnock at the weekend and the manager will be looking for a reaction as he looks to get the club’s and his own first Champions League win since 2017.
Feyenoord have sold out their allocation so will have a large support of at least 2500 inside Celtic Park to add to the atmosphere. The match is a sell-out but inevitably some Celtic fans may decide to watch on television, especially those travelling for afar for what is essentially a dead rubber.
For Celtic though a win a this level is desperately needed at this level, especially as Brendan Rodgers acknowledged yesterday afternoon, for the Celtic support.
Celtic will be without Cameron Carter-Vickers and Daizen Maeda. Both players trained yesterday at Lennoxtown but will sit out this evening’s match with an eye of a weekend return against Hearts at Celtic Park. Liel Abada is also missing as is Reo Hatate who we won’t see until after the winter break.
From the side that started at Rugby Park, expect a couple of changes with Kyogo starting ahead of Oh who drops to the bench. And there could possibly be a start for Gustav Lagerbielke, who of course got himself sent off in the opening match of the group stages in Rotterdam.
It’s hard to imagine Brendan Rodgers playing Nat Phillips after his difficult afternoon against Kilmarnock and with his loan spell coming to an end anyway, with Liverpool looking at re-calling him to provide defensive cover amid their own injury concerns.
Celtic have a problem at right wing with both Yang and Mikey Johnston failing to impress, to put it mildly, and James Forrest now seen as an impact player from the bench. Johnston seems the most likely but his chances of securing a longer term future are so far no further forward despite the manager giving him the opportunities to prove a point.
Predicted XI: Hart; A.Johnston, Lagerbielke, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, McGregor, O’Riley; M.Johnston, Kyogo, Palma.
French official Benoît Bastien will referee the clash with compatriots Hicham Zakrani and Aurélien Berthoumieu running the lines. Jeremy Pignard will be on Fourth Official duties with countryman Benoît Millot on VAR duties. Millot will be assisted by Portuguese official Tiago Martins.
“Our attitude in the game is exactly the same, and that’s to go and win the game. And we do that by playing our way. I think we showed at the weekend that once we change from that, we don’t have the same qualities. Our strength is to go and play the game we want to play, we know we are playing against a good side. It’s our last game at home and we want to do everything we can to give the supporters a performance and a result,” Brendan Rodgers.
“Every game at Celtic is a big game in terms of the standard in the group. We can’t jump above anyone which is a disappointment that we don’t have anything to play for, but every game is massive when you represent Celtic, especially after Sunday’s result.
“Everyone is hurting from Sunday and when you get the chance to play in a Champions League game for Celtic you don’t need any more motivation than that. We have a lot to prove and I see a group that is ready to put on a big performance and try and get that win that we want.’
“We still want to approach it as if we have everything on the line, as when you cross that white line you have to play as if it’s your last game for Celtic. We understand we want to be competitive and when we get to this level we have to make an impact. Everyone at this club knows that and a win gives us that belief and hopefully you’re back next season and can kick on from there,” Callum McGregor.
Ahead of kick-off Celtic will pay a special tribute to former Celtic and Feyenoord legend Wim Jansen and this will allow both sets of supporters to unite in appreciation for everything Wim achieved in the game and for both clubs, who obviously contested the 1970 European Cup Final in Milan.
The game kicks off at 8pm (Celtic Park Time).
Where to Watch
The game will be shown on TNT Sports 3 and TNT Sports Ultimate with coverage starting at 7.45pm.
🟢⚪ #UCL Matchday at Paradise 🏟
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) December 13, 2023
Ever the optimist, let’s go for Celtic 2 -1 Feyenoord with the goals coming from Kyogo and Luis Palma.