On watching Celtic on Tuesday I wondered, ‘What will Juventus learn from this performance?’ Their scout will have left with a few notes.
Celtic can break quickly and effectively. Both Hooper goals came as a result of moving the ball the length of the field, mostly on the deck, at pace.
Their threat from corner kicks was re-emphasised. Charlie Mulgrew delivers the ball with sufficient pace to benefit from unpredictable movement, beyond the anticipated swerve. This will be difficult for defenders, keeper and attackers to meet, but Celtic players clearly put a lot of work into practicing getting onto the end of these crosses.
Hopefully the scout will have learned nothing about how we will defend against Juventus as we were somewhat erratic early on against United and were not pressed thereafter.
Juventus are rightly favourites but this this is a thankless tie for them, especially when the first message delivered is ‘Don’t concede corners or free kicks in wide positions’.
They will also be alert to the dangers of being caught forward when Celtic can break effectively. Celtic conceded through this mistake against Spartak last month but I wouldn’t expect us to leave as much empty space in defence at any point against Juventus.
My main worry about Celtic is over how much practice they are putting into penalty kicks….
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