It used to be that the European games would be the most pivotal fixtures of Celtic’s season. They generally had no competition in the league so all efforts could be focused on their midweek games.
Lazio visit Glasgow tomorrow night in a game that could be crucial in terms of Celtic qualifying for the knockout rounds. They also face a difficult trip to Aberdeen on Sunday where only a win will be enough to guarantee they remain top of the table, so ideally they would want to have all of their key players available.
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The emergence of Ryan Christie coupled with a summer tantrum has left Olivier Ntcham on the fringe of the first team at times this season. There’s no doubt he’s an incredible player who could’ve made a big difference against Lazio.
Unfortunately for Celtic he’s been ruled out of the game after a report from The Sun confirmed that Neil Lennon hoped he would be available for the Aberdeen game, but it seems tomorrow night will come too soon.
The former Man City man struggled to push his way into the squad in Manchester so left to join Celtic in 2017. It does seem obvious that he is treating the team as a stepping stone, so the chance to perform on the European stage would’ve been the perfect chance for him to put himself in the shop window.
Lennon also seemed to confirm that Tom Rogic trained today and would be available for the game.
Lazio might be scarier in name rather than what they can offer on the pitch, but they still have some fantastic players who should be too good for Celtic if they play well. Immobile, Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto are all class acts who can turn a game on their own.
We all know that the atmosphere at Celtic Park on a European night can give teams a fright, Celtic fans will be hoping for a big result to give their chances of emerging from the group a giant boost.