BRENDAN RODGERS has welcomed the Europa League last-32 pairing with Zenit St Petersburg.
The Russians will go into their three-month winter shutdown in second place in the league after drawing 0-0 with FK Akhmat last night.
Rodgers is hopeful any lingering rust after the lengthy lay-off could work in the Hoops’ favour.
He said: “If you look at it in reverse, it’s a little bit like the challenges we face at the end of a season, coming straight into it.
“And some of the teams we have to play in qualification are already in season. Naturally, it’s difficult.
“They will be back, I suppose, sometime in January, trying to get ready for that game.
“They will have a breather, a break and they will have winter training somewhere. Then they will be back.
“Of course, if you are in rhythm, in mid-season, it is better, but they will see it as something they just have to get over.”
— The Celtic Room (@thecelticroom) December 11, 2017