Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Celtic good enough to defeat Zenit St. Petersburg - Eboue Kouassi

Celtic good enough to defeat Zenit St. Petersburg - Eboue Kouassi

Rodgers may opt to retain the midfield quartet of Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, Eboue Kouassi and Callum McGregor.

The Hoops take a slender advantage to Russian Federation this week thanks to academy graduate McGregor's excellent second-half finish after an inch-perfect assist from Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda.

Having clinched a 1-0 win over Roberto Mancini's entourage in the first leg, Brendan Rodgers' men would be aiming to confirm their progress to the Round of 16. Yet for all this unpredictability, Rodgers backs his players to deliver and there is as much chance as them winning by three or losing by five. "It's emotion. One, we were playing well and two it was the brilliance of the goal".

'But it wasn't frustrating for me not to play in the Champions League group stage. We knew Celtic are a good team with good players, a good manager and we knew it was going to be a hard game.

"I have played in St. Petersburg".

"So, they will want to show in front of their own supporters that they are much better than that. We know it's going to be hard but we believe that we can do it". Our idea is to go and win the game. I'm hoping if we play to that level again over here, then we've got a great opportunity to go through.

"Of course it's going to be a test and a challenge for us". Moussa Dembele held the ball up really well in attack, which made it easier for us to get out as a team.

"I think the way we played over the last two seasons we've been developing, playing different formations, different styles against top quality teams", he said.

"We wanted to make it really competitive but probably they were surprised by the quality of our football".

"In all of the qualification games we've played since I've been at Celtic it's been important home or away to retain the emotion of the game". There is no doubt
he now feels they are on the verge of one of their most eye-catching successes under his watch.

He said: "It's important you stay calm". I didn't think I'd develop quite as much as I have done this year but it's a great feeling and I feel stronger with each game I play. Okay, some of the numbers this year maybe don't match last season but that was a historical season.

"We were near-on flawless in the first game". There are still lots of great positives of where we've been this year and where we are
as a club.

"We know we can do that", he said.

We look at the factors that the Celtic faithful should consider ahead of this European crunch match.

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