We have no right to expect anything against Atletico Madrid tonight. They are a side packed with tier-1 winners, who are enjoying their best season in years. Griezmann, Morata, Koke, Llorente, Azpilicueta, Oblak and the rest have played at the top of the world game for years. They have seen it all and fancy their chances of winning La Liga this season.
By contrast, the Celtic team that takes the field tonight have everything to prove. But what better an opportunity could they have? Kyogo, Cameron Carter-Vickers, On-Fire O’Riley & Co. are winning plaudits and attention across the globe. They are cutting it up in Scotland, often without effort, and – we think – are capable of great things.
Prove it tonight. Hurt Atletico for their brazenness in digging up 1974, for the Celtic fans who were denied a European Cup Final in Brussels, for today’s fans, who hold them in such high regard, for the memory of Jimmy Johnstone, a heroic performer in green and white hoops. Mostly, do it for themselves. A result tonight is a marker in their own careers – and it is just about achievable.