Mario Gotze and Eran Zahavi give Celtic worrying signs ahead of potential battle

By David Walton

July 22, 2021

PSV superstars Mario Gotze and Eran Zahavi gave Celtic a glimpse into their potential UCL future last night, and it was a frightening one.

The Eindhoven pair single-handedly ripped apart Galatasaray to go storming into a 5-1 lead heading into their UCL 2QR second-leg next week.

The Dutch side absolutely bossed the contest in Holland. Zahavi bagged a hat-trick whilst Gotze added a double as a scary-looking PSV frontline battered the Turks.

Celtic will face the winner of that one should we overcome Midtjylland in Denmark next week.

After a fourth-placed finish in 2019/20, manager Roger Schmidt vastly improved PSV’s performance levels last season. They finished second in the Eredivisie but were still 16 points off the pace of Ajax.

Celtic take some positive first steps under Ange Postecoglou

Gotze and Zahavi both signed for the club last summer during the extended transfer window. But PSV have quality all over the pitch, and that was something they expressed last night.

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PSV Eindhoven already clicking; Eran Zahavi and Mario Gotze on fire

The Dutch side have been smashing home the goals in pre-season too. Yesterday’s game against Gala was anything but an anomaly. They fired home six against Belgian outfit RWD Molenbeek, whilst 10 goals were rattled in vs German club Delbrucker SC. Granted, it hasn’t been the highest calibre of opposition.

But last night’s result was a massive step up for them. They showed extreme threat through the central positions, with three of their goals coming from superb combination play that cut open the Galatasaray defence.

What Celtic will have found out is that PSV are a massive step-up from Midtjylland. Where the Danes failed to connect in the final third, Eindhoven appear to be flying and looking sharp.

Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images

Of course, it would be folly to look too far ahead. There’s a hugely difficult job to do in Denmark next week. It all looks ridiculous if we start delving into PSV too much when we still have a job to do of our own.

But you couldn’t help but watch them last night and be blown away. They look far sharper than this stage of pre-season would suggest. Added to that, they have a settled squad and look ready for a proper title push this season.

But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

In other news: Ex-Celtic youngster Armstrong Okoflex already shining at West Ham United