CELTIC legend Sir Kenny Dalglish admits he has “a good feeling” his old club can win their next two crucial Champions League encounters.

RB Leipzig, 3-1 victors over Ange Postecoglou’s side in Germany in midweek, are due at Parkhead on Tuesday as the Hoops search for their first victory at the fourth time of asking.

The title-winners lost their opening-day home match in Europe’s elite competition 3-0 to holders Real Madrid and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw, despite dominating for massive chunks of the game.

Fate turned against Postecoglou’s men at the Red Bull Arena when inspirational skipper Callum McGregor was forced from the action in the first-half with the knee injury that will keep him out for at least 10 games.

EURO STAR…Filipe Jota scored Celtic’s consolation goal in Germany in midweek and was replaced after 45 minutes during the 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth yesterday.

A rare error from the experienced Joe Hart – with the score at 1-1 following a superb leveller from Filipe Jota – gifted the Bundesliga club a second goal with Andre Silva gratefully snapping up the opportunity and the same player hit the clincher in the 81st minute.

They square up again under the lights in the east end of Glasgow on Tuesday and then it’s the turn of the Ukrainian champions to provide the opposition on October 25.

Looking at Celtic’s current position, Dalglish said: “They may well feel they should have at least one more draw and that’s an understandable outlook.

“It may well be that seven points could see them finish runners-up to Real Madrid.

“That’s why it’s vital they win their next two games – at Parkhead against RB Leipzig and then Shakhtar.

“It’s a tall order, but not impossible. If they are trying to do it without Callum McGregor then that makes it all the harder.

SIDELINED…Callum McGregor comes off in Germany with Ange Postecoglou looking anxious.

“Callum is central to everything they do and he makes the team tick. He is a fine operator at Champions League level.

“With him unavailable due to injury, then it’s up to others to step up to the mark.”

Sir Kenny, writing in his Sunday Post column, added: “I have a good feeling Celtic can do it. They are now in a three-team tournament and they can win their next two games.

“But maybe they need to be a wee bit more compact than they were at certain times in Leipzig the other night in the 3-1 defeat.

“They may well need something from their final game, away to Real Madrid, and that might be a step too far. But you never know.”

Offering an update on McGregor’s situation, Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “The initial reports suggest he’ll probably be out until after the break at this stage.

“We haven’t got the final report, but it looks like he’ll miss the next three, four weeks which will put him out until after the break.

“The good thing is that with the break he will be raring to go when the season resumes and that will be a massive bonus for us.”

Meanwhile, Cameron Carter-Vickers stood up to be counted in Celtic’s dramatic last-gasp 2-1 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

COMEBACK BHOY AND STAND-IN SKIPPER…Cameron Carter-Vickers in action yesterday.

The 24-year-old US international central defender had been injured and forced to miss the previous three games that saw two defeats from St Mirren and RB Leipzig and a win over Motherwell.

However, he was pitched back into the action in Perth and where the Hoops took the points with a goal a minute from time by Giorgois Giakouamkis after the Saints had levelled through Alex Mitchell in the third minute of stoppage time.

Despite 75 per cent possession, the visitors had to rely on an own goal from Andy Considine for their other strike just before the turnaround.

Postecoglou welcomed the return of Carter-Vickers and added: “It was good to get Cam back in. He is one of our more experienced players, it is crazy saying that with his age and the fact it is only his second year here, but that is the kind of group we have.

“Having his experience was good and he felt pretty good again. Probably got a bit tired towards the end, but the 90 minutes will do him good.”


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.

Loading ...