Celtic have been unstoppable since the winter break as they have won all their last nine games. They will travel to Denmark to take on F.C. Copenhagen in the first leg of the round of 32 fixture in the Europa League. Celtic’s memorable win against Lazio in the group phase showed what the Hoops are capable of as Lazio are currently challenging for the Serie A title.
Copenhagen are coming in this game on the back of a loss after the conclusion of their winter break. Hence, they might be a bit rusty, and Celtic can look to catch them cold. Here are the things which Lennon needs to do to ensure a positive result for the Hoops.
Keeping Mohammed Daramy and Jens Stage in check
18-year-old winger Daramy would clearly be one to watch out for as he possesses the skill to go past players. Also, his pace could trouble the Hoops. The winger has seven goal and three assists in all competitions this season. He was even linked (BBC) with Celtic earlier along with English heavyweights like Liverpool and Manchester United. He isn’t a nailed-on starter as of yet. However, Daramy is seen as a massive prospect for the future, and he could trouble the Hoops with his raw skills if he gets to feature.
Versatile midfielder Jens Stage also has the potential to be a difference-maker. He can play in almost any position across the pitch but is likely to feature in a box to box role. Celtic will need to keep track of his ability to make late runs in the box.
Going back to 4-2-3-1
Celtic have been very effective in the 3-5-2 system in the last few domestic games. However, in an away game in the Europa League, Lennon should switch back to the 4-2-3-1 formation. That will allow Celtic to have that extra man in defence. Celtic don’t need to go gung-ho or chase the game. Hence, they don’t need to go in with two outright strikers. Leigh Griffiths might have to miss out, with Odsonne Edouard leading the line.
Getting Christie, McGregor and Edouard on the ball
On paper, many are seeing Celtic as the favourites for this tie. The likes of Christie, McGregor and Edouard can turn the game within seconds with their impressive skills. These three would be very crucial players away from home. Celtic won’t mind if Copenhagen steps up to play an extravagant brand of football as the Scottish giants have the quality to hurt them on the counter. If Christie, McGregor and Edouard see more of the ball, then Celtic will undoubtedly carry a lot of threat.
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