It’s fair to say that few fans would’ve thought Celtic would face this scenario when the group was drawn.
Neil Lennon’s men have the luxury of already knowing they are group winners, while Lazio are relying on Celtic doing them a huge favour to give them an outside chance of going through.
The victories home and away against Lazio should give the team confidence that they can beat anybody in the competition, so the game against Cluj doesn’t have any great meaning.
Lenny’s men have already avenged the Champions League defeat earlier in the group, while their seeded place is secured so it could just be about getting some players some European experience and possible giving a rest to some of the senior lads.
These images from training suggest there could even be an appearance from Karamoko Dembele:
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) December 11, 2019
He’s been talked about for so long that it’s almost surprising that he hasn’t featured this season, especially when you consider how impressive he looked when given a chance in the first team.
It’s actually incredibly easy to forget he’s still only 16, so it’s completely understandable that he’s still being introduced slowly into first team life.
It will be interesting to see what Lenny decides to do in terms of the team selection on Thursday, but a European game with no real pressure on Celtic could be the perfect chance to give Dembele some further experience.