Feyenoord stands as a free hit for Celtic

It has been six years since Celtic last won a game in the UEFA Champions League group stage, a 3-0 away win over Anderlecht under the familiar stewardship of Brendan Rodgers.

Although the club has competed in just one group stage since (excluding this season), Celtic have tried and failed miserably across all European competitions in the past decade.

The club’s struggles on the continent are a tale as old as time, and represents the very reason Rodgers returned to the club.

Discussions of five-year plans and ambitions to win a European trophy at the start of the seasons were quickly put into perspective as Celtic’s summer transfer window left a lot to be desired.

Just Luis Palma and Nathaniel Phillips started out of Celtics nine summer signings in the defeat at Rugby Park on Sunday, the latter who endured a turbulent 90 minutes as his performance resembled shades of Shane Duffy’s time at the club.

It has been a stop start season so far for Rodgers, with mitigating factors such as underwhelming recruitment and injuries preventing his side from building any sort of momentum.

January is just around the corner and Celtic will inevitably strengthen a squad which lacks quality and depth at this moment in time.

Daizen Maeda and Cameron Carter-Vickers both participated in training today which stands as the shining light in what has been a negative past couple of weeks in the East End of Glasgow. Both are likely to be ready for the game against Hearts at the weekend but are unlikely to play tomorrow night.

And Reo Hatate was back on the grass today, albeit working through his rehab programme with the medical staff rather than participating in the training session. Hatate will not be back until the other side of the winter break.

However, Feyenoord will come too early for the trio who will be prioritised for the upcoming league games against Hearts and Livingston at Celtic Park.

Rodgers will be looking for a significant response from his team after the lethargic performance at the weekend.

Changes in personnel is likely, with the game tomorrow night but there will be no opportunity for £4.3 million pound summer signing Maik Nawrocki to make his long-awaited return from injury. Nawrocki was not named in the Celtic squad registered with UEFA due to the injury he picked up at Kilmarnock in August in the League Cup.

Given the title fight Celtic now find themselves in, tomorrow stands as a last opportunity for players to impress before the run in to theRangers game and the January transfer window.

Feyenoord come into the games with one win in their last three games, albeit both losses having been at the hands of top-quality sides in Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven.

Tomorrow stands as a meaningless game for both sides in the context of the group, but it constitutes as an opportunity for Celtic to break the six-year drought without a win in Europe’s premier competition.

Expected Celtic line-up is as follows…

Hart, Johnston, Lagerbielke, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, McGregor, O’Riley; Johnston, Kyogo, Palma.

James French

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