There’s a remarkable lack of nerves ahead of tonight’s game against Inter Milan in the San Siro. Perhaps, for many of us, all we expected from this tie was a sign that the progress we believe has taken place in recent months, would stand up to the scrutiny of European examination. Last week, it did.
So with a Key Performance Indicator delivered, thoughts turn to knocking Inter out of Europe. My expectations are wide open, literally, anything could happen tonight, from an historic win to a painful lesson, but we know enough about Ronny Deila to know that this afternoon he will explain to the players the plan to win the game. We will not pack our 18 yard box, nor bring catenaccio home.
Celtic will play with the freedom enjoyed by a team with nothing to lose. Inter have home advantage and three away goals on the board, but they also have the weight of expectation. No one in Italy expects Celtic to progress.
The key Inter expectation is that they will score enough against a weak Celtic back line. Based on last week’s 90 minutes, this is not unreasonable. What Inter don’t know, is if Celtic’s back four and Craig Gordon had a one-off exceptionally bad day.
The greatest football stories are made when triumph is grasped from failure. Celtic can score tonight, but if they win, it will be because Craig Gordon and his defenders have decided: None shall pass.
Our good friends at Magners have offered a pair of premium tickets in the Jock Stein Stand for Sunday’s SPFL game. To win the tickets, answer this question:
Who do Celtic play on Sunday?
Put your answer IN THS SUBJECT LINE of an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Competition closes at 5pm tonight. Winner will be notified tomorrow, so check your inbox.
While entering, if you would like to donate a £1 – a single pound – to the campaign to build a kitchen at Chibwata Primary School in Malawi for Mary’s Meals, you can do so here. £1 – that’s all, and for that pound, you get the warm glow of the knowledge that when you see the photos of that kitchen in a few months, you paid for some of it.