Despite the pessimism ahead of the visit from Zenit St Petersburg Celtic have a great record against Russian sides despite the wealth gap.
In 2007 there was a famous penalty shoot out win over Spartak Moscow with Neil Lennon’s side doing the double over the same club five years later on route to the last 16 of the Champions League.
In between those matches there was another clash with Russians which arguably turned out to be Tony Mowbray’s finest moments as Celtic manager.
With an all in draw for Champions League qualification it would take quite an effort from Celtic to get through to the group phase with Dinamo Moscow presenting the first qualifier.
It didn’t look hopeful when Dinamo won 1-0 in the first leg in Glasgow with Mowbray’s side taking the baggage of Celtic’s Champions League away record to the Russian capital a week later.
Scott McDonald joined Marco Fortune in attack and levelled the scoring with a header just before the half time break.
Celtic took heart from that knowing that another goal would leave their nervous hosts looking for three to go through.
Extra time seemed a certainty but in stoppage time substitute Georgios Samaras came up with the winner to take Celtic through, unfortunately Arsenal were waiting with the European ‘adventure’ continuing in the Europa League against Hapoel Tel Aviv, Hamburg and Rapid Vienna.