Vulnerable Leverkusen Could Be A Superb Springboard For Celtic Before Week’s Most Important Match Versus Aberdeen

Celtic’s biggest match this week is Sunday’s SPFL match against Aberdeen at Paradise. The gap at the top has been reduced to four points and victory could see us pile pressure on the current champions, who face a tricky trip to play on the plastic pitch at Livingston. However, before the weekend’s league duties take place, the Bhoys visit Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.

Since meeting the German giants in September, Celtic have won eight out of nine matches. Two of those wins came against Ferencvaros in Europe and one came in the Premier Sports Cup Semi-Final. Although the league is our priority, it goes without saying that the victories achieved in other competitions have brought a confidence to the team and helped the players to push on in their quest for the title. It is for this reason that the Europa League fixture should not be overlooked on Thursday.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 30: Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen shoots whilst under pressure from Joe Hart of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Celtic FC and Bayer Leverkusen at Celtic Park on September 30, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There’s a feel good factor around Celtic Park today. Ange Postecoglou is just 90 minutes away from his first trophy as Celtic manager, the team haven’t lost in two months, and there is a strong belief that the title race is on. In short, the monumental rebuild in front of the manager in July has been undertaken with a level of speed and success which has exceeded all of our expectations.

If Postecoglou’s men can defeat Leverkusen in Germany then that euphoria will flow into the weekend. What a boost it’d give the team ahead of a crucial league contest. Furthermore, it would ensure that Celtic still have an outside chance of qualification from the Europa League group in December.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND – OCTOBER 03: Jota of Celtic celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It may be bizarre to be talking about the possibility of beating Leverkusen with any optimism, given that they thumped us 4-0 at Paradise in the reverse fixture. They remain a top outfit and will be the favourites; however, the Germans have won just three of nine matches following their rout in Glasgow. They look vulnerable at present.

Arminia 0-4 Leverkusen, Leverkusen 1-5 Bayern Munich, Real Betis 1-1 Leverkusen, Koln 2-2 Leverkusen, Leverkusen 1-2 Karlsruher, Leverkusen 0-2 Wolfsburg, Leverkusen 4-0 Real Betis, Hertha 1-1 Leverkusen, Leverkusen 1-0 Bochum.

Celtic will go for broke – it’s the only way Postecoglou instructs his teams to play. It might just work in our favour and lift us to new heights. Whatever happens, Aberdeen is our priority but a historic result in Germany could act as a superb springboard.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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