We are more familiar with what it is like facing opponents who have little to play for when we need a result, than the scenario we face tonight. Celtic have secured top position in their Europa League group, while Cluj require a point to ensure qualification as runner up. If Celtic win, a win for Lazio in Rennes will put the Italians through.
While Neil Lennon will field a vastly weaker selection, the team will still be full of effort. We should not expect anything other than a Cluj win, but a side released from the burden of expectation and players with a point to prove could throw up an interesting night. Leigh Griffiths, in particular, will surely make the most of the occasion.
As is his way, Cluj manager Dan Petrescu, made eight changes to his side’s starting line-up on Sunday to ensure his team were in peak condition for the Europa League. That decision resulted in a defeat that cost Cluj top spot in the league. The former Chelsea player’s methods are not universally liked by the team’s supporters.
Those concerns will fade into the distance if they manage to eliminate Rennes and Lazio and reach the Europa knockout rounds.
Tom Rogic signed shirt raffle for Celtic FC Foundation – FINAL DAY!!
The Celtic squad wore a special shirt for last month’s league game against Motherwell, bearing the Celtic FC Foundation Christmas Appeal logo instead of the normal Dafabet logo on the front, and the words “Christmas Appeal” on the back, instead of the Magners logo.
Tom Rogic’s signed shirt from that day is available for raffle. Each donation of £10 or more will be entered into a draw, which will take place on Friday 13 December. The shirt will be posted on Monday 16th (or available for collection at the Hibs game on Sunday 15th).
The Celtic FC Foundation do incredible work throughout the world all year round, but their work with those most in need in the winter months, and for children and families coping with chronic poverty, can give warmth, nourishment, self-respect and human compassion that some people struggle to find. All donations go straight to the Foundation.
This is why Celtic exists. You can enter here at JustGiving. The competition closes tomorrow, good luck and thank you!!