Celtic v Bayern Munich preview: Olivier Ntcham passed fit for hosts
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 31/10/17 6:44pm
Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham has recovered from an ankle knock and could feature for the Hoops at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The summer signing was replaced after 62 minutes of Celtic's 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock on Saturday but Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that was a precautionary move.
Bayern have faced Celtic three times before in the Champions League and have never lost to the Glasgow club (W2 D1), while the Hoops have never beaten German opposition in the competition (D2 L3).
This includes a 3-0 defeat to Bayern in the reverse fixture in Germany a few weeks ago but Rodgers told his pre-match press conference: "We will look to find a way to be competitive and see if we can get a result.
"We know the magnitude of the test but it is one we will really relish. We respect they are a very good side. All we can do is control what we can."
The Scottish champions are currently third in Champions League Group B behind Bayern and table-toppers Paris Saint-Germain.
Celtic midfielder Ntcham is available for selection (ankle) but Patrick Roberts will miss out due to a hamstring injury.
The winger was also substituted during Celtic's draw with Kilmarnock and faces a few weeks on the sidelines.
Bayern have confirmed Robert Lewandowski has not travelled to Glasgow because of a thigh injury suffered against RB Leipzig at the weekend.
Kingsley Coman has made the trip after recovering from a knee problem and could replace the Poland international but Juan Bernat, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery remain unavailable.
No Scottish side has beaten Bayern Munich in a competitive match since February 1989 when Hearts claimed a 1-0 victory against them in the UEFA Cup; Bayern Munich have gone 12 matches unbeaten since that game (W8 D4).
Bayern Munich have only managed two wins in their last nine matches on the road in this competition (D2 L5); they have let in seven goals in their last two such Champions League games.
No team has attempted fewer shots this season in the Champions League than Celtic (24) and they are going up against the side to record the most efforts in the 2017/18 campaign (Bayern Munich, 71).
Three of the last five Champions League goals recorded by Bayern Munich have seen the direct involvement of Joshua Kimmich (two goals and one assist); the defender getting on the scoresheet last time out versus Celtic.
I'll be watching this one in the Soccer Special studio. I genuinely expect it to be much closer than the reverse tie in terms of performance and result.
Celtic don't have the players to sit in and defend so the concern is, as always in Europe, they'll come out and get picked off.
Thiago Alcantara was excellent in Germany and must be considered one of the top midfielders in the world right now, while their full-backs were also superb with their pressing game.
However, Muller and Lewandowski being ruled out is a leveller and it says it all that we're scratching around to work out who will lead the line. I suspect it could be Coman and I suspect it could be narrow heartbreak for Celtic.
Charlie predicts: 1-2 and Coman to score first (35/1 with Sky Bet)
Rodgers' men are currently 16/1 to qualify for the knockout stages but well odds-on for third spot, while their visitors are currently 15/2 fifth favourites in the outright betting.
Arjen Robben heads the first goalscorer betting at 100/30 in Lewandowski's absence, while Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele are both 8/1 shots.