Celtic had the chances to put tonight’s tie to bed in the first half in Copenhagen, but profligacy in front of goal and a subsequent revival by the home team mean we have to win the game and earn the right to be in tomorrow’s last-16 draw.
The absence of suspended Ryan Christie and injured Olivier Ntcham leaves Neil Lennon with fewer options than normal. Tom Rogic is a straight replacement for the No. 10 role, but Tom has seen little football in recent months, it will be asking a lot of him to play an entire 90 minutes. The same is true of Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Ahead of the first leg Copenhagen manager Stale Solbakken told reporters he expected Celtic to play three at the back. He read Neil Lennon’s plans wrong, which probably gave Celtic the early advantage. Solbakken compensated at halftime. These are two experienced European managers, how they match up and then how they change their formations during the game, will go a long way to determining the outcome.
I was happy enough to see Newco progress last night. We go to Ibrox three days after the first leg of the next round of the Europa League, better to go when both teams have had a strenuous midweek game than have the home side rest up. There is still work to be done on several fronts.