FORMER Celtic midfielder Kris Commons hopes history repeats itself in Russia tomorrow night.
The Hoops travel to St Petersburg to take on Zenit in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 confrontation with a one-goal lead from last week’s thrilling confrontation at Parkhead.
Commons, who left the champions in the summer to become a media pundit, recalled: “The last time Celtic played in Russia was one of the highlights of my career because it was a night when history was made.
“In October 2012, we beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 to finally record the club’s first-ever away win away in the Champions League group stage.
“In the game, I ended up playing almost as a right-back. Mikael Lustig helped me out a lot, reinforcing that the defensive side of things needed to be spot on.
“Thankfully for us, Gary Hooper scored a memorable finish to put us ahead. Spartak scored twice, but then had a man sent off before James Forrest got us level with a deflected strike.
“When Georgios Samaras headed a late winner, I was dead close to him and I remember jumping on his back and screaming: ‘Yeeees!’
“It had taken Celtic 19 attempts to win on the road in the Champions League group stage and being part of that historic winning team was a magical feeling.
“There was such a sense of relief that we had finally done it.”
Commons has no doubt how Brendan Rodgers set out his team tomorrow evening.
He added: “Knowing him, I think he may press Zenit high again and try to get at them.
“The Russians might not expect that and they were certainly quite uncomfortable when it happened at Celtic Park.
“It’s all right going for goals, but Celtic need to be defensively disciplined. Before the first leg, Rodgers reinforced the need for his centre-backs to maintain their concentration.
“But if that was the case at Celtic Park, it will be even more necessary in Russia where they will be in a very hostile atmosphere with few away fans.”