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Big four return to face Juventus

Date: 6th March 2013 at 6:37 pm
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Champions LeagueGeorgios Samaras, Charlie Mulgrew, Kris Commons and Beram Kayal all start for Celtic against Juventus tonight.

Other than the injured duo of Scott Brown and Mikel Lustig Neil Lennon has his strongest squad available for tonight match.

Gary Hooper will play as the sole striker with a five man midfield pushing up in support as Celtic attempt to to pull back a three goal deficit from the first leg.

Looking forward to the match Lennon said: “It would be a tall order to win the tie 4-0 or 4-1 but we are capable of winning the game and that’s what we would like to do,” said Lennon.

“If we win it would equal the club record (of wins in Europe in a season).

“Juventus are top of the league again and the draw could have been kinder to us but we want to close the gap on the scoreline and we will have to play at our optimum level to do that.

“It is a fantastic game to play in. We may not be here again as a group, you are playing the champions of Italy who are a very good team so enjoy it.

“Enjoy the stadium, enjoy the atmosphere, don’t be intimidated. Go and play, the pressure is really off so try to restore some respectability in the tie, play your football and win the game.

“So we have a lot to play for, there is a lot of incentives, however, to qualify would take a minor miracle.”

Juventus coach Antonio said: “We’ve only played 90 (minutes) and we have another 90, plus maybe extra time and penalties, against a strong, proud team who will want to make amends for first leg,” he said.

“There is a quarter-final to be reached so we definitely won’t underestimate this game.

“It’s going to be a test for everybody, starting with me, then the players and the club.

“Certainly the first leg has given us a seriously good chance of reaching the next round, but in football, there are always surprises if you don’t play with the right determination and concentration.

“Celtic are a very physical side and can create lots of problems from set-pieces. We’ve got to be fully focused because we want to go through and so we’ve got to give it everything.”

CELTIC: Forster; Matthews, Wilson, Wanyama, Izaguirre; Samaras, Kayal, Ledley, Mulgrew; Commons, Hooper

SUBS: Zaluska, Ambrose, Miku, Stokes, Lassad, McGeouch, Forrest

 

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