BAYERN MUNICH’S comeback boss Jupp Heynckes has denied the German giants are taking their place in the last 16 of the Champions League for granted.
And the 72-year-old coach, who replaced the axed Carlo Ancelotti after the team’s 3-0 hammering against Paris Saint-Germain, stressed his players will not make the mistake of underestimating Celtic at the Allianz Arena this evening.
The Bundesliga giants are fourth favourites to win Europe’s premier club competition and are expected to triumph in their third Group B match against Brendan Rodgers’ men.
However, Heynckes has warned the Scottish champions can beat his side as well as pipping them to second spot in the section and progressing to the knock-out stages.
He said: “Celtic are a physical, aggressive team. They have the won Scottish Premiership six times in a row. In the Champions League last season, they drew twice against Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach away. That tells you everything you need to know.
“Celtic are a very good, positive team. That is normal in the Champions League and we have to be well prepared. You shouldn’t make the mistake of underestimating other teams.
“Celtic are a very competitive, experienced team with a great coach who was at Liverpool. People forecast that Bayern and PSG are the favourites, but you need to play these games and then evaluate.
“Yes, we want to qualify for the next round. But Celtic have a great history in Europe and I would never make the mistake of underestimating Celtic.
“I think that within the Champions League, there is the possibility to lose a match. We lost to Arsenal a few years ago, so it’s nothing new.”
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Heynckes added: “If you look at Scotland now, it is always difficult to maintain a high level and to be competitive in the Champions League and make it past the group stage, because if you look at the transfer window you see how crazy it has become and how difficult it is even for well-established teams and clubs to keep up their momentum.
“Look at Paris, or the English teams. They just invest in horrific numbers. Manchester City and Manchester United invested a lot of money, 600 million euros, that’s just crazy.
“Clubs like Celtic and others like Anderlecht can’t keep up.”
OUR SECOND CQN PODCAST this week, featuring interviews with ex-Celts Alan Stubbs and Chris Sutton, previewing the big games this week against Bayern Munich and Hibs at Hampden on Saturday.
Stubbs gives an insight into Liam Henderson as a player and talks about where his career should go from here.
BT Sport pundit Chris Sutton, who was speaking at the SPFL Betfred League Cup media day, spoke about Celtic’s European challenge in Munich and his former gaffer Gordon Strachan’s departure from Hampden Park.
Speaking on behalf of BT Sport, Alan Stubbs also spoke about his regret at leaving Hibs, and looks ahead to the League Cup semi-final between two of his former clubs.
BT Sport is where the best go head to head. Watch Bayern Munich v Celtic exclusively live in the UEFA Champions League on BT Sport ESPN from 7pm tonight & Hibs v Celtic exclusively live in the SPFL Betfred League Cup on BT Sport 1 from 11:15am on Saturday 21st October.