BRENDAN RODGERS had a laugh today when it was put to him that the referee in Celtic’s last meeting with Astana was biased in favour of the Scottish Champions. Check the video at the bottom to share the joke, courtesy of STV.
“We played them last year and had two tough games which thankfully we got through,” Rodgers said today.
“The style hasn’t changed so much. It’s the same coach, a lot of the same players and the game in which they play is quite direct.
“They play up to the big striker who has good technique and has good mobility for a big striker. They then play off the wide player Patrick Twumasi who is very fast on the counter attack.
“So that actual style of the game is pretty much the same.
“But the European games we had last year helped us gain a resilience. It was interesting watching last season’s qualifiers back and in terms of how we played the game, what our idea of football was, it was nowhere near what it is now.
“So what we have built up since then is that mental resilience.
“We’re missing some key players but it’s not a computer game. It’s not Football Manager where if you lose one you can just pick one straight off the computer and put him straight in.
“It’s much more difficult than that – but I have always put trust in the players I have.”
Rodgers goes into the match without central defenders Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata and French striker Moussa Dembele, who scored the last minute winner last August to send Celtic through to the Play-off round.
But if Celtic won’t be at full strength on the field, that in itself has been eased with the news that Leigh Griffiths is claiming to be 100% fit, then the Scottish champions will be at full strength off the pitch.
The Green Brigade, absent from the last three matches at Celtic park, two due to a ban from the club and the third due to a huff, have announced that they will be in their usual places at the North Curve standing section. That will certainly help pump up the volume as the Celtic support – all 60,000 of them – intend to roar Rodgers and his Bhoys to glory.
Brendan Rodgers had some fun when asked about a referee "in favour of Celtic" today. pic.twitter.com/L0WgpIHM5c
— STV Sport (@STVSport) August 15, 2017