Copenhagen manager Stale Solbakken has heaped praise on Celtic’s top scorer Odsonne Edouard, but admits we’re anything but a one-man team.
Solbakken’s Danish champions are getting set to face Celtic in the Europa League last-32 tomorrow night. The first leg will take place at the Telia Parken, with the return game due at Celtic Park a week later.
Undoubtedly, Celtic’s biggest threat is Edouard. He’s scored 23 goals in 39 appearances this season and is clearly in top form for the Hoops (Transfermarkt). He’ll be Celtic’s leading man tomorrow night regardless of the formation, and will be the one player everyone will have their eyes on to produce a bit of magic.
However, speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s game in comments published by the National, Solbakken admitted that Celtic have other threats to go along with their key man.
“Celtic are not a one-man team, but you’d always say that Edouard will be the main threat to us. He’s probably their best individual player and he’s also their biggest match-winner. But overall, they’re very dangerous.
“Celtic are very stable right now, a really strong team. They’ve found a rhythm now with the new 3-5-2 system.
“They have a good mix in their team, with their defensive players but also really good offensive players who can create as well. They’re in a good place and they’ve picked up real momentum in the last six weeks, which I’ve seen for myself.”
Too many good players to put sole focus on Eddy
Solbakken is absolutely right to look around and be concerned at some of the other threats Celtic have in their ranks.
After all, James Forrest has racked up 16 goals and 21 assists this season (Transfermarkt). Ryan Christie, meanwhile, has 18 goals and 15 assists to his name (Transfermarkt). There are plenty of other players that Copenhagen should be worried about.
Also, only one of Edouard’s 23 goals this season actually came in the Europa League groups. He has both one goal and one assist to his name in the competition so far. Granted, he also buried strikes against Sarajevo, Cluj and AIK in qualifying.
Edouard, however, wouldn’t be the same player if not for the quality around him. If Copenhagen try to put several markers on the Frenchman, that should simply free up space for the likes of Forrest or Christie to exploit.
It’s easy to see why Celtic have so much confidence and belief in themselves going into this one. Given our recent form, there’s an air of invincibility to this squad. Of course, that can all change very quickly, but we’re as confident going into this one as we have been in any of our previous last-32 ties.
Here’s hoping that confidence isn’t misguided. If Edouard and co are on song, however, it likely won’t be.