Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers calls for aggression against Leipzig
Brendan Rodgers has told his Celtic players not to be scared of tonight’s opponents RB Leipzig.
The boss told the press today that his side cannot afford to be timid against the Germans.
Tonight is a must win game for Celtic. Defeat would all but eliminate them from the Europa League.
“You have to be very aggressive. We’ll need to be at the very highest level to get a result,” Rodgers told BBC Sport ahead of the game.
Since their defeat to Leipzig two weeks ago, Celtic have won three on the bounce.
In that period they’ve scored 13 goals without reply. A clean sheet may be required if they are to get all three points tonight.
Even though they’ve risen to the challenge domestically, tonight’s opposition are on another level.
Rodgers himself conceded that man for man, Leipzig are a better team than Celtic.
However that doesn’t mean that Celtic can’t beat their opponents tonight.
If they play with the aggression Rodgers desires, there’s every chance they can spring an upset.
There were times that a home win for Celtic in Europe was not considered an upset, but in today’s game it’s very much the case.
Leipzig showed their class in the last game, clinically dismantling Celtic with much to spare.
A case for the defence
There are positive signs for Celtic going into tonight’s game.
Although they will miss Scott Brown, they can look to Filip Benkovic to return after missing the first game.
The Croatian defender has already forged a strong partnership with Dedryck Boyata. Those two will have to be on their toes to keep the Germans at bay.
Youssouf Mulumbu will also return to the squad, boosting Celtic’s midfield.
If he’s fully fit, he must play to offer steel in front of the back four. This would allow Celtic’s creative players freedom to take the game to Leipzig.
If that means Ryan Christie has to drop to the bench, then so be it.
It would be cruel, but as he proved only 11 days ago, he can come off the bench and be a match winner.