Leipzig went into the Europa League campaign third seed but favourites to win the group. All that changed when they lost 2-3 at home to Salzburg in the opening game, but a 1-3 win in Rosenborg and a 2-0 win over Celtic last time out in Germany steadied the ship.
That defeat to Salzburg is one of only two defeats in all competitions for Leipzig, the other coming against Bundesliga toppers Borussia Dortmund. Leipzig are fourth in the domestic league, a point behind both Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Since that game in Trondheim, they have gone six games without conceding, this is a team who know how to defend. A point should be enough for them tonight, so Celtic can expect to work for whatever opportunities they get.
Celtic are also a team on form. Their early season woes are behind them, as they have hit 6, 4, 3, 5 and 5 goals in successive domestic games. The game has the look for ‘irresistible force meets immovable object’ about it.
Unlike the qualifications games against AEK Athens, or even Suduva, Celtic can play unburdened by pressure tonight. They can afford to allow the coterie of creative Celts to take the game to Leipzig, knowing that there is little to be earned from closing the game down. Give Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic, Ryan Christie, Scott Sinclair and James Forrest and opportunity to test their attacking prowess against what is currently the best defence in Germany.
Are we going to win? I’ve no idea, but I want to know how well we can perform when the shackles are off.