CELTIC are gearing up for a hectic six-game challenge at home and abroad before the next international break following the Premiership encounter at St Johnstone on October 7.

Scotland international midfielder Callum McGregor is poised to play a key role for Brendan Rodgers’ team as the fixtures pile up at a frantic rate.

Rosenborg provide the first challenge in the Europa League Group B tie at Parkhead on Thursday night  After that, it’s Kilmarnock in the league at Rugby Park on Sunday, St Johnstone in the Betfred League Cup at McDiarmid Park three evenings later and then it’s back to the points-gathering business with Aberdeen the visitors on Saturday, September 29.

The Hoops travel to Austria for their second European outing against RB Salzburg the following Thursday and then it’s the away to the Perth Saints again in the league on Sunday.

KEY ENCOUNTER…Callum McGregor against Rangers’ Scott Arfield.

The champions return to Premiership action against Hibs at Parkhead on Saturday, October 20.

McGregor said: “It’s a foot-to-the-floor situation at this stage of the season. There are six games and they are all important ones in different competitions.

“We’ve got to be right at it all the time from now on. We’ve had this for the last three seasons, so we’re getting used to it in terms of being ready fitness-wise and getting our preparation right for each match.

“There are Cup-ties, European matches and crucial games in the league, so you’ve just got to take that in your stride and keep churning out performances.”

Reflecting on the previous games, McGregor said: “The Rangers match was crucial. We felt that we had to put down a marker and let people know that we’re still here and we’re not going away.

“The performance on the day was excellent and if Allan McGregor hadn’t pulled off a string of excellent saves then we’d have beaten them by three or four goals again.

“It’s good for us to know that we’ve still got that in our locker and that we’re able to turn it on when it comes to the big occasions.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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