With the smallest chances and glimmers of hope to create some sort of upset, Celtic travel beaten and broken from their previous encounter with Juventus, which didn’t even have the Italians playing anywhere near their best football in order to get a huge win in Scotland.
In Italy, it’s pretty much impossible to create a vision in our minds of Celtic, a team with Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras as their strikers, scoring at least three times in Turin, where Juventus might not show up with the strongest of lineups, but the quality gap between the two sides is quite remarkable.
For Celtics and Neil Lennon, it’ll probably be an attempt to make a nice ending to a surprising campaign, without too many people expecting the Scottish champions to make it out of their group stage, not to mention their 2-1 win over Barcelona.
We had some fantastic nights, even against Juventus the atmosphere was amazing. Barcelona, Benfica, to have those nights back at Celtic Park has been truly memorable for me. And going up against the best teams in the world, the best coaches in the world, has been a fantastic experience for a group of players who are relatively young in their careers and who haven’t cost a lot of money. They have excelled, absolutely excelled, and they have done the club and Scotland proud. They have one more crack at it so if we do go out, we want to go out on our shield.
Juventus will simply try to avoid yellow cards that might make things more complicated in the next stage – Stephan Lichtsteiner, Claudio Marchisio and Artur Vidal are all in the risk of getting booked and suspended from the next match, but Antonio Conte, at least going into the match, is talking about the tie not being over.
It’s over. Even if Juventus play with most of their second stringers, their defense and tactical superiority over Celtic, who don’t have too much to give in away matches but park the bus and hope for the best through set pieces and long balls, should be enough to not make things too complicated after a 3-0 win in the first leg.
Prediction – It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Juventus not winning this match and even losing, but it’s about qualifying, and there’s no chance Celtic make it to the quarterfinals.