Massimo Donati sends Lazio stern warning ahead of Celtic trip

By David Walton

October 22, 2019

Former Celtic midfielder Massimo Donati has warned Lazio that they’re up against it when they face the Hoops on Thursday.

Donati spent two years at Celtic between 2007 and 2009. During that time, he managed to win the Scottish Premier League title and the League Cup. It was certainly a productive period for him in his career.

One of the most glorious nights he’ll have had in a Celtic jersey, however, would’ve been against AC Milan. Celtic defeated the then European Champions 2-1 at Celtic Park back in 2007. Donati played that night, and the class of 2019/2020 will be looking to replicate that night with a fine win over Italian heavyweights Lazio on Thursday.

Massimo DOnati was part of a fine win over AC Milan 12 years ago (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Donati, who is now a coach at Kilmarnock, has been previewing the game. According to LaLazioSiamonoi, this is what he had to say:

“The Scottish football is a different kind of football. I can’t say if it is better or worse than the Italian one. Here (Scotland), there is so much intensity – in training they never stop.

“If you lose individual battles to Celtic, you will be very disadvantaged. Lazio will find a great atmosphere. The nights at Celtic Park are exciting and unforgettable.

“Edouard is really very good, he certainly has great shots. Besides him I would say James Forrest, who is an interesting winger. The weakness is certainly the defence and the organisation. Here, they need to improve.”

Donati right for most part, but defence isn’t weak

Donati pretty much gets things spot on. If Lazio are to keep us quiet, they have to find a way to mark Odsonne Edouard out of the game.

As well as that, James Forrest consistently turns up when the opposition at Parkhead is greater. He can be a key outlet on Thursday night, and Donati is also right to pinpoint him as a major threat.

Odsonne Edouard will be huge on Thursday (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, not everyone will agree with the former Milan and Celtic midfielder that the defence is a major weakness.

Christopher Jullien was brought in from Toulouse and looks to have added some real quality to the position. He was poor against Livingston in the 2-0 defeat there several weeks ago. Outside of that game, however, the defence have done well enough this season so far.

Celtic’s defence has proven to be good enough for this level (Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

Kristoffer Ajer also featured against Ross County on Saturday in the 6-0 rout. He put in an assured display, but he’s going to be seriously tested by Ciro Immobile and (potentially) Felipe Caicedo. Donati perhaps has a point if he’s saying centre-back isn’t the strongest area of the team. But that doesn’t mean it’s weak.

Celtic kept Cluj out tremendously at Parkhead, and also defended superbly in Rennes. The likes of M’Baye Niang and Billel Omrani were largely frustrated. So, despite Donati’s comments, we shouldn’t be fearful of our backline this week. They’ve proven they can deal with this level of quality.