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Celtic should to plan to score in Lisbon

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Benfica enjoyed a 0-2 away win on Friday evening to remain joint-top of the Portuguese league with Porto.  They will have enjoyed a day off while Celtic played on Saturday and will two days training before tomorrow’s game.  By contrast, Celtic player will have rested yesterday and will get no more than a run out inside Estadio da Luz tonight.  With games coming thick and fast at the moment, hopefully rest is the most important requirement for the players.

Benfica shredded Spartak for most of the second half in Moscow but contrived to miss what chances they created, allowing the Russians their only win of the group so far.  The return game in Lisbon was a comfortable win for the home team.

Neil Lennon has some major tactical decisions to make.  He will surely acknowledge the danger Benfica pose but has to find a way of scoring an away goal or two.  Match day one between Celtic and Benfica brought a 0-0 draw, ostensibly a good result for the visitors, but the group has matured since then.  Both teams played that game as though it was an away game; Benfica were happy to defend and Celtic, in their first Champions League game since 2008, were keen to feel their way back into the tournament.

This time Benfica will attack with speed and hope that Celtic open up a little more than they did against Barcelona.  It’s important also to acknowledge that while Benfica are no Barcelona, they will also be less predictable than the Catalans, we will not have it all our own way in the air.

It’s going to be a game tiring 90 minutes where the use of fresh legs could be crucial but an early Celtic goal would allow Neil Lennon to set his stall out clearly.

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878 Comments

  1. Snake Plissken

     

     

    12:08 on 20 November, 2012

     

     

    Even with a defeat, we are not out of the last 16 BUT a win or a draw tonight would represent a hell of a culmination of a journey that many of us didn’t see possible after Ross County.

     

     

    We should all be proud no matter what happens tonight.

     

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    Brilliantly put M8. imo

     

    Hail Hail

  2. Tonights game is our hardest of all the CL games. Looking back it was always going to be. We had nothing to lose in Barcelona, Spartak IMO are a good side but not as good as Benfica. PLUS there is now huge expectation going in to this game for Celtic.

     

     

    We are in for a tough tough game. But bring it on. That is what being in the CL is all about, that is what being Celtic is all about.

     

     

    Absorb the pressure and hit on the counter when we can and if the players who can do that are fit.

     

     

    Big pressure on this afternoon for me so this evenings game is the ideal way to wind down. Win, lose or draw the Celtic will be there. I’ll settle for that this year. I am confident we will be in europe post Christmas – no idea which tournament. I think we all would have taken that 3 months ago.

     

     

    Our young Bhoys have been magnificent so far. Looking forward to it very much.