BRENDAN RODGERS insists he wants Celtic AND Rangers to win in Europe tonight.

The Hoops face a Europa League group tie against Rosenborg in Trondheim while Steven Gerrard’s men take on Villarreal at Ibrox.

Rodgers reckons success for both of the Glasgow giants on the European front will benefit Scottish football.

The Irishman said: “Of course, the European game is becoming very difficult for countries like ourselves.

“So, if the likes of ourselves and Rangers can get through, it would be great for the nation, for both clubs, that’s what we want.

“It’s still very much our ambitions and I hope we can do that. We go into it and you look after yourselves and your own club.

“But, for the bigger picture which is important for our football. It’s great if we can get as many teams as possible into European games.”

IN THE GREEN CORNER…Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic face Rosenborg tonight.

IN THE BLUE CORNER…Steven Gerrard’s Rangers take on Villarreal. Pics: Geo.

There has been talk of carve-ups in the other Group B match between Red Bull sides Salzburg and Leipzig, but Rodgers said: “You can’t afford to worry about what’s going on in the other game.

“You’ve got too much to focus on your own game and our purpose is very clear going into the game.

“We want to win and we have to take care of that side of it. We want to do that. Essentially, it’s about having a clear purpose in your own play and knowing clearly what our objective is.

“We want to win this game and go back into our very last game with a fighting chance to qualify. It’s as simple as that.”

Rodgers believes his team’s recent record in their visits to Trondheim will be helpful in this evening’s must-win confrontation.

Last season, James Forrest scored the winner in a 1-0 triumph to qualify for the Play-Off round of the Champions League.

And earlier this term, the Hoops forced a goalless draw to go through on a 3-1 aggregate before disappointingly losing out to AEK Athens on a 3-2 overall score.

Rodgers added: “We’ve played well here. The first game we won 1-0 and I thought our actual game was really good. Probably the last game here, too, was a good result and performance.

“That kind of typified where we were at the start of the season. But now we have clarity in our results, but also how we’ve been playing.

“I think we come here in a much better phase of our game and, hopefully, we can show that.”


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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