Celtic and RB Leipzig will square off against one another again on Tuesday evening, less than a week after their first meeting in Germany, with both teams needing to make up ground in the Champions League Group F standings.
The Hoops are now in the last position in the standings with only one point after three matches, and they suffered a 3-1 loss at the Red Bull Arena, so a win is very necessary for them to move above Leipzig and compete for a spot in the round of 16.
Match Preview: Celtic vs RB Leipzig
Last week’s Champions League loss to RB Leipzig exposed Celtic’s flaws. Ange Postecoglou’s squad won over Motherwell after losing to Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk. Despite Jota’s second-half equalizer, Joe Hart’s error doomed them.
Celtic have lost 17 of their last 23 matches at Europe’s top level, but they won the Premiership this weekend.
Giorgos Giakoumakis scored Celtic’s winning goal at St Johnstone on Saturday. Celtic were set to drop points for the second consecutive domestic away match. Giakoumakis won the game in the fifth overtime.
Their Champions League hopes hinge on defeating Leipzig on Wednesday. It’s feasible with Celtic Park cheering them on, but they must quickly reverse last week’s performance.
RB Leipzig has lost on both of its previous trips to Glasgow, against Celtic four years ago and to Rangers in last season’s Europa League semi-finals.
Andre Silva’s double and Christopher Nkunku’s opener earned Die Roten Bullen their first Champions League victory in the opposite game, but they’ve won only three of their last 11 in Group F and trail Shakhtar Donetsk by a point.
Real Madrid has won all of its games, thus the other three group champions are battling for one position. Marco Rose must avoid losing in Glasgow.
Domenico Tedesco lost 4-1 against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Since Rose arrived, the team has been inconsistent.
Nkunku equalized Mainz’s 1-1 draw in the 80th minute. After failing to move from the Champions League group stage last season, Leipzig will focus on overcoming Celtic and battling with Shakhtar.
Team News: Celtic vs RB Leipzig
Celtic’s captain Callum McGregor sustained a knee injury at Red Bull Arena and will be sidelined until the beginning of next month, putting a damper on the team’s aspirations for instant vengeance on Tuesday night.
Though he made six substitutions over the weekend, Ange Postecoglou is likely to go with the same starting XI that played in Germany. Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi should, therefore, re-join the team.
David Turnbull might make a comeback from tonsillitis, while Cameron Carter-Vickers has rejoined Aaron Mooy in full training. But Carl Starfelt is still out with an injury, so either Moritz Jenz or Stephen Welsh will have to play with Carter-Vickers in the back line.
Leipzig’s goalkeeper Peter Gulasci suffered a major injury in the first match against Celtic, and he will be replaced by Janis Blaswich for the return match at Parkhead.
Although key players like Lukas Klostermann, Konrad Laimer, and Dani Olmo are out for the visitors, the club has plenty of depth up front to compensate for the loss of starters.
A dangerous offensive trio of Timo Werner, Christopher Nkunku, Andre Silva, and Dominik Szoboszlai is expected, with versatile midfielder Emil Forsberg providing Marco Rose with a backup plan.
- Celtic Possible Starting Lineup: Carter-Vickers, Maeda, Taylor, Jenz, Juranovic, Jota O’Riley, Furuhashi, Hatate, McCarthy, Hart.
- RB Leipzig Possible Starting Lineup: Gvardiol, Orban, Schlager, Simakan, Silva Nkunku, Werner, Blaswich, Kampl, Raum, Szoboszlai.
Our Prediction: Celtic 1-2 RB Leipzig
Because neither side has been successful in stringing together a prolonged series of results lately and the fact that the stakes are especially high, it is possible that this matchup will be a close one between two teams who are both determined to come out on top.
Because of the superior individual talent of their attackers, the away team has a better chance of defeating Celtic in the Champions League, which would effectively put an end to the Hoops’ hopes of advancing to the round of 16.