Hoops boss will go for broke to pull off Europa Ital­ian Job

UDI­NESE v CELTIC Europa League Group I Thurs­day, ESPN, 8.05pm

Midweek Sport - - TV GUIDE -

NEIL LEN­NON will tell his Celtic side to go on the at­tack in their quest for Euro­pean progress on Thurs­day.

The Hoops take on Serie A joint lead­ers Udi­nese – with vic­tory a must for them to ad­vance in the com­pe­ti­tion.

With Atletico Madrid al­ready through, Celtic are vy­ing with the Ital­ians to join them in the knock­out stages.

The re­sults of Group I, how­ever, are sub­ject to the ver­dict from the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport in the case be­tween FC Sion and UEFA.

Udi­nese are cur­rently three points ahead of Celtic, but the Park­head side would go through on head-to-head record with vic­tory in Italy.

And Len­non is de­ter­mined they’ll give it their best shot.

He said: “We have to win it. A draw or a de­feat is no good to us.

“We have to be re­spect­ful of the op­po­si­tion, who are top of Serie A, so they are ob­vi­ously an ex­cel­lent side.

“I think we can set up to be a lit­tle bit more ad­ven­tur­ous with our own ap­proach.

“The pres­sure is off and the play­ers can go and hope­fully ex­press them­selves and do the club jus­tice.”

Strength

Celtic are in good form do­mes­ti­cally, hav­ing won the past six SPL games, scor­ing 13 goal in the process.

But Len­non knows his side must find a way past keeper Samir Han­danovic and stop Italy striker An­to­nio Di Natale to make it through.

He added: “They are very strong in mid­field. They have great strength, ath­leti­cism and qual­ity – and coun­ter­at­tack quickly. Added to that, they have a bril­liant goal­keeper. I think he is one of the best in the world.

“I re­mem­ber him from the last World Cup for Slove­nia – he was fan­tas­tic – and he pulled off three or four un­be­liev­able saves here.

“He gives them a great foun­da­tion to build on.

“And with peo­ple like Di Natale in the team, there’s al­ways a goal threat at the other end.”

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