Celtic vs Red Bull Salzburg preview: Brendan Rodgers' side need a draw
Leigh Griffiths out for Celtic, but Kieran Tierney set to return
Last Updated: 13/12/18 6:48pm
Celtic need to avoid defeat in their final group game at home to Red Bull Salzburg (kick-off 8pm) to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League.
Salzburg have won all five of their Group B matches and are guaranteed to finish top.
Celtic hold a three-point lead over third-placed RB Leipzig, so only need a point to qualify as runners-up. They will also qualify if Leipzig fail to beat Rosenborg.
Celtic are unbeaten in 10 matches and manager Brendan Rodgers said his side will not be playing for a draw.
"It is unworkable, as a coach, a manager...especially when your game is based around an offensive game and aggressive game. Our intent is always to go and win.
"Of course there are certain stages in the game, especially towards the end when you are in an advantageous position when you can manage the game.
"But I think it is always dangerous to go into a game thinking you only need a point, especially for us, a team that really play a pressure game. If we come off that pressure, then it is always difficult for us."
Salzburg won the reverse fixture 3-1 in October and are unbeaten in all competitions this season.
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths will miss the match as he is out of football for a period of time with personal issues.
Left-back Kieran Tierney returns after missing the 5-1 win over Kilmarnock at the weekend with a groin problem.
Defender Dedryck Boyata is still out with a hamstring injury and Kristoffer Ajer (fractured eye socket), Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani (both knee) remain out, although Nir Bitton is back training following knee trouble.
- Celtic are winless in their three previous meetings with Red Bull Salzburg, drawing one and losing two.
- All three previous meetings between Red Bull Salzburg and Celtic have seen exactly four goals scored and both teams find the net, with the Austrians winning the reverse fixture 3-1 on MD2.
- There have been six goals scored in the UEFA Europa League this season following a sequence of 14+ passes; three of which have been scored by Salzburg in three different games.
- FC Red Bull Salzburg have won 36 matches in the UEFA Europa League since it was rebranded in 2009/10; more than any other team.
- No player has been involved in more goals in the UEFA Europa League this season than Salzburg's Munas Dabbur (six - five goals, one assist).
I thought Celtic were out after three games, but they've turned things around. Salzburg are through and Celtic only need a draw, but with Leipzig also being owned by Red Bull and needing Salzburg to get something then they'll probably send a strong team to Glasgow.
This is not an easy game and Celtic aren't great at retaining the ball in Europe. I expect it to be a nervy night but I think Celtic will get a goal and that'll be enough to get them through.
Charlie predicts: Celtic 1-1 RB Salzburg, Ryan Christie to score (Sky Bet odds HERE)