Celtic’s season will open up if they can take Dinamo Zagreb down a peg or two tonight. The Croatian champions have read the stories about the debacle against Legia and subsequent humbling by Maribor, who turned out to be anything but humble, if their draw away to Schalke this week in the Champions League is anything to go by.
All they know about Celtic is the trauma we’ve come through in recent months. Details, like the aforementioned under-appreciation of Maribor, or the extremely credible away performance against top seed, Salzburg in the last round, will be difficult to fit into their match planning.
Salzburg was a sign that there is more to come from this Celtic team than was previously evident, and unlike Maribor, who arrived in Glasgow aware of our potential, Dinamo confidently predicted they are “here for the win”. Even Juventus were more cautious at Glasgow Airport.
European football gives players an opportunity to stamp their name at the club, and on subsequent team sheets, just ask Wakaso Mubarak, who put a stake in the ground 13 minutes into his debut in Salzburg, or Callum McGregor, who stamped his authority all over our European campaign already this season. Tonight is the game Stefan Scepovic has been waiting for since arriving (without a proper preseason) on deadline day.
I’m not expecting a flowing game tonight, nor do I think such a game would be beneficial to us. Keep it tight and exploit our chances, and we’ll shut Dinamo up.
Don’t want to get drawn off course today, but a quick point:
Remember what I detailed about Fraser Forster’s professionalism? Ronny Deila is 100% correct on what he said on fitness recently; big Fraser was one end of a spectrum.
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