Benfica will arrive in Glasgow tomorrow without having played a competitive game since 2 September, when they thumped Nacional 3-0 in Lisbon. They arranged a friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday in an attempt to prepare them for this week’s Champions League challenge but the lack of meaningful football is less than ideal, especially at a time when clubs are looking to build sharpness.
Celtic were idle for two weeks before Saturday but have played nine competitive games this season compared to Benfica’s three. They also have the benefit of not having to sacrifice a day’s preparation to travel.
Fitness late in the game, perhaps accentuated by the use of substitutes, could be crucial. Celtic’s best chance of winning this one will come in the second half. Run the lungs out of them, Celtic.
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