Celtic boss Neil Lennon is confident his side can continue their giant killing act in this seasons Champions League, by beating Juventus in tonight’s last 16 clash in Glasgow.
The Hoops have already exceeded all expectations, in qualifying from a very difficult group which included both Barcelona and Benfica. Their defeat of the Spanish giants has to go down as one of the greatest performances in the clubs long and proud history, and their manager feels that there is more to come. Despite being rank outsiders for the two leg clash with the Italians, the Irish man is in upbeat mood: “I think we have been (underestimated) throughout the whole campaign and going into this game we are being made out to be massive underdogs but I don’t quite see it that way myself.
“There is a real belief, anything can happen over two games. We go into the tie as underdogs but nothing is going to be decided at the end of 90 minutes tomorrow night, it is over two games and we are prepared to play hard football over 180 minutes. They have excellent strikers — Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella, Sebastian Giovinco, and they have also brought in Nicolas Anelka. But the one who has caught my eye is Alessandro Matri, he looks an excellent young player”.
“They are very strong in midfield. Arturo Vidal is playing very well currently, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio, these are class players including Andrea Pirlo who is still one of the finest midfield players in the world. So the team is blessed with fantastic footballers but we knew that before the tie or before any preparation were made. But it would be dangerous to underestimate Celtic. We have proved already this season that we can be a match for anyone.”
However, Lennon acknowledged the difference between the Juventus and Barcalona, adding: “They are two different cultures. We have done a lot of work on Juventus and I have seen them myself so we will have to change the way we played against Barcelona but that is only natural because Barcelona dominate possession like no other team.”
He went on add how proud he was of his sides current form: “This will be one of my best achievements, to bring these nights back to Celtic Park. It is the only show around, a European night at Celtic Park.”
Georgios Samaras who is battling to recover from a hamstring injury is a doubt for tonight’s match, while keeper Efe Ambrose played for Nigeria in the African Nations Cup on Sunday night and will not return to Glasgow until today.