Chris Sutton bullish on Celtic Europa League chances

By Euan Davidson

October 23, 2021

Celtic should be aiming for Europa League survival, according to Bhoys favourite Chris Sutton.

Sutton, the dictionary definition of forthright, described it as a “minor miracle” when Postecoglou guided Celtic into the Europa League, is now confident that the club can stay in the competition.

Reviewing our Group G opponents [UEFA], including Bayer Leverkusen and Real Betis, Sutton was determined that Celtic can at least make a good go of progressing in second place.

After a galvanising win against Ferencvaros, there is a route to maintaining Europa League status. And while it’d be some achievement at this stage, it’s what Celtic should be aiming for, says Sutton.

The former Bhoys striker wrote [Daily Record]:

“[Ferencvaros] was a huge win in the context of the group. If Celtic avoid defeat in Hungary next week they will be pretty much guaranteed European football after Christmas in the Europa Conference League.

“They shouldn’t settle for that though. There is still a chance of staying in the Europa and that should be the target.

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“Celtic can win in Budapest and get a result against Betis in Glasgow.

“Leverkusen are strong but you don’t know how the group will look by the time we get to the final game. The Germans are likely to have qualified by then. It might be a stretch for Celtic this season but at least they are competitive after finishing rock bottom of the group a year ago.

“And you’ve got to say things are looking more positive around the club after three big wins against Aberdeen, Motherwell and now Ferencvaros.”

From miracles to what Celtic should be aiming for; Chris Sutton has Europa League belief in Celtic under Postecoglou

It probably can’t be said enough; in the context of the last year, Europa League progression would be a considerable triumph.

A win, though, does a lot for confidence. From being almost certain that we were done for after the Bayer Leverkusen defeat, there’s a belief about this iteration of Celtic under Ange Postecoglou.

Of course, we could still make it through. That said, you’d surely have to consider it a bonus rather than an imperative. The goal for Celtic this season has to be returning to domestic supremacy.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

That’s, ultimately, what Postecoglou will be judged on. But then, there’s nothing quite like a night of European football at Celtic Park, regardless of the opposition. Those nights are special, and create momentum in and of themselves.

Chris Sutton always has high expectations of what Celtic can do. Given the success he had with us, that’s to be expected.

And for a pundit associated with sharp put-downs and pessimism, it says a lot. Sutton’s feeling the enthusiasm under our new manager.

Read more: Let Jota enjoy his football before permanent Celtic decision says Postecoglou