Celtic may have played 25 fixtures against Italian teams in their European history, but Thursday’s match against tw0-time Serie A champions Lazio at Celtic Park will be the first meeting between the teams.
Celtic have of course played some memorable games against teams from Italy – the most notable being the European Cup Final win over Inter Milan 1967.
However, that is only one of five wins in 25 games for Celtic against Italian opposition. The Hoops have in the main struggled against Italian teams.
Creditable performance in six-goal thriller
Their last performance against an Italian team was a creditable one though. In the last 32 of the Europa League in 2015, the Hoops held Inter Milan to a 3-3 draw at Celtic Park, before losing 1-0 at the San Siro in the return leg.
However, the upcoming game against Lazio must be one of Celtic’s few matches against Italian opposition where they can arguably be considered favourites going into the game.
Lazio are currently in an inconsistent run of form. However, Celtic have for the most part played well this season. Of course, the Hoops should not take Lazio likely. But there should also be no fear about playing them.
A memorable night in Europe
Celtic have not defeated an Italian side since the memorable 2-1 win over AC Milan in 2007. That was one of the most memorable European nights at Celtic Park in the last 25 years.
A win over Lazio might not be as memorable as that. However, it would still be a more than decent result for the Hoops.
It would show that the club belong at the forefront of the Europa League. That might not be as good as the Champions League, but Celtic can only beat the sides they come up against.
It has been a few years since Celtic had a really memorable European night. Perhaps the last was the 3-3 draw with Manchester City in 2016. To have one against Lazio, Celtic must improve on their history against Italian sides.