Former Celtic winger Bobby Petta has been providing insight on the kind of test Brendan Rodgers’ side face away to Feyenoord on Tuesday night.
The Scottish champions kick off their UEFA Champions League campaign in Rotterdam. Petta was born in the city and although he didn’t have a long Feyenoord career, that’s where he started his journey as a professional footballer.
He reckons it’ll be a tough environment for Callum McGregor and company mid-week, but thinks getting a positive result is possible.
Speaking to The Sunday Post [17/09 print edition], Petta said: “The De Kuip Stadium is not an easy venue to go to. There will be around 45,000 fans there and they are hardcore. They make sure the atmosphere is hostile. But that should suit a lot of the Celtic players.
“They have just beaten Rangers 1-0 at Ibrox in front of 50,000 Gers fans so they should not be intimidated by De Kuip. With it being the first fixture of the group stages, I’d be delighted to see Celtic get a draw.
“Naturally, I’d prefer Celtic to win the game. But I think a draw would be a fantastic start. It gives the club something to build on. I just don’t want to see them lose the game and then have to play catch-up.”
Feyenoord are coming into the game full of confidence having secured a monster 6-1 win at home to Heerenven in Eredivisie on Saturday. Petta is correct in his assessment that a draw would represent a strong result for the Bhoys.
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Avoiding defeat is going to be difficult, but Brendan Rodgers fancies his team as underdogs and if the players themselves can go into the match with belief and intensity, anything can happen. Celtic have ability at this level and can spring a surprise or two.
Whether that surprise comes as early as Tuesday is another matter but, despite the hostile environment, the travelling Bhoys should show no fear.