RB LEIPZIG manager Ralf Rangnick is confident that he can maintain his winning run over Celtic in the eagerly anticipated Europa League encounter at Celitc Park.
And as an aside to the earlier article on The Celtic Star this morning from Gerry Cassidy in Christchurch – see HERE, Celtic Park will have a bigger crowd that just about all the Champions League matches played this week and will almost certainly have a better atmosphere too.
And if you are going to the game remember it’s an 8pm kick-off but get to your seat for 7.45pm as Pete’s Disco Lights will be in operation in all their glory! It’s Thursday Night Fever at Paradise!
And a word on the visiting support tonight, there will be around 2500 Leipzig supporters in the away end this evening, the biggest traveling support ever or their club for a European tie. The previous record was 1500 traveling fans but such is the attraction of visiting Celtic Park on a European night, they have broken that record.
A warm, friendly welcome will be on offer by the Celtic support but we hope that they end up delighted at having visited Paradise – the best stadium in football for atmosphere – but disappointed that there team took a hellova beating! Fingers crossed anyway!
The Leipzig boss was Sporting Director at Salzburg when they won at Celtic Park in this competition in 2014 – see HERE. He got his second win over Celtic two weeks ago but tonight it could be third time lucky for Celtic, it certainly needs to be or we are out of the competition.
“It’s so special here because the supporters – they are passionate and always back the team,” Rangnick said at his press conference yesterday.
“We saw that in the first game when Celtic had 6000 fans. Now they have 60,000 and the atmosphere will be sensational.
“We will have 2500 fans and that is incredible for an away game on a Thursday night.
“The scenery here is very special – not only for the home team, but also for the guest team, The atmosphere is very motivating. The atmosphere in Celtic Park is so extraordinary because the fans support their team unconditionally.
“They will field a better side this time, but we can cope with the big atmosphere. We played well against Berlin in front of a huge crowd and the players can handle that.
“We are confident we can achieve a win here like Salzburg did four years ago.”
The Leipzig boss recognises that the Celtic side will be stronger this evening and also notes that he will have to field a weakened side with the German international striker Timo Werner and his Danish strike partner Yusuf Poulsen both out injured.
He will therefore have to rely on the one striker he has left, Matheus Cunha who scored in the game two weeks ago against Celtic.
“Timo has problem with his toes, and Yussuf has a back issue,” Rangnick revealed.
“They can’t play against Celtic, but we still have a good team to field in this match.
“This is an away game and Celtic have more players available than they did the last time. But in terms of how the two teams will play, I don’t see much difference.
“If we defend as well as we did against Celtic in the last game, we will have a good chance.”
And Marcel Halstenberg, the Leipzig defender, reckons that the visitors will enjoy their night in Paradise and will take the three points back to Germany when it’s all over. He is very excited at the prospect of playing at Celtic Park.
“A few of our players have been here before and we spoke to them about it,” Halstenberg stated.
“The atmosphere is going to be very good and we know that Celtic will give 100 per cent for 90 minutes.”
Also on The Celtic Star today…
‘The fight for the soul of football,’ a view from Down Under…See HERE.
Hugh Keevins – a Muppet or a Puppet?…See HERE.
Lubo? ‘Laughable?’ Keevins has had egg on his face for 20 years…See HERE.
”Tuxedo’ Tom has got an in-built brain for football,’ Rodgers on Rogic…See HERE.
Jim Craig – On this day, we signed the greatest ever Celtic star…See HERE.