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Despairing Italians’ put their faith in Celtic

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Simone Inzaghi will become a Celtic fan for the night when the hoops travel to Romania to take on Cluj next month.

The Lazio boss watched his side enjoy a 1-0 win over Cluj last night but his side’s Europa League fate is largely out of his hands.

Group E will be concluded on December 12 but details of the Celtic squad flying out to Romania will be watched closely in the Italian capital.

When Neil Lennon sends out his chosen XI to face Cluj they will go out to win the match but it seems very likely that the key men in his side will have their feet up at home as they watch the action on television.

Relying on favours from another team is far from ideal but as his side take on Rennes Inzaghi will know that whatever they do their fate will be decided in Romania.

“First of all, we have to do our duty in France,” the Lazio boss told The Sun. “There’s no point worrying about what is happening in the other game if we can’t beat Rennes. Celtic have given everything in this group and I believe they will do this also in Romania.

“I believe it’s the mindset of the Scots to try and win every match and we have to hope they will do that and win at Cluj. In football, nothing is impossible. We have to keep believing we will qualify.

“Celtic won at the Stadio Olimpico so they can certainly also win at Cluj. Like I say, it won’t matter if we cannot beat Rennes. Let’s do our job there and see what happens.”

Despite their struggle in the Europa League, where they have lost three out of five matches, Lazio are sitting in third place in Serie A.

If Cluj end their interest in the Europa League, Inzaghi’s only route into the Champions League will be through maintaining his side’s place in Serie A where they trail Juventus and Inter but are comfortably ahead of Napoli and Atalanta who are playing in this season’s Champions League.

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