Celtic vs RB Leipzig - Rodgers relishing pressure of must-win Europa league clash

Posted Thursday, November 08, 2018 by PA

Celtic vs RB Leipzig - Rodgers relishing pressure of must-win Europa league clash

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is relishing the pressure of what he believes is a must-win Europa League clash with RB Leipzig at Parkhead on Thursday night.

The Scottish champions are third in Group B with three points from three fixtures, including a 2-0 defeat at the Red Bull Arena last month.

Austrian side RB Salzburg top the group with nine points with RB Leipzig on six points and the Hoops boss is looking for his men, who have scored 23 goals in their last five domestic games while conceding just two, to produce their best in their bid to get back into the qualification mix.

He said: “We are certainly in a much better place than we were a number of weeks ago.

“The team is really confident and playing well, scoring goals and defensively strong.

“We know it is a tough game for us but we love playing at Celtic Park and we know that if we are to progress or have any opportunity to progress to the group stages,  it is a game that we have to win.

“People will look at it as a pressure game but not every pressure situation is a negative.

“I think, I always seen the pressure moments as opportunities for you to go and show your qualities.

“In the last game (against Leipzig), for the opening half-hour we looked fine in the game and then when we conceded we didn’t play well enough after that both with and without the ball.

“I am looking forward to the game. In a couple of games away from home we probably haven’t shown our true qualities for whatever reasons but the team is on a good level of confidence, we are playing well which is very important.”

Rodgers is as confident as always ahead of playing in front of a packed Celtic Park but stressed the need for his side to cut out the errors which have proved costly on the European stage

The former Swansea and Liverpool boss said: “It is always a different game at Celtic Park, our supporters are everything for us, they really push us on and help us and of course we know that we have to be at the very highest level to get a result.

“A little problem for us in the last few years is that we have made mistakes at this level and the lesson is you get punished.

“So defensively let’s not make mistakes and make it very difficult for the opposition to score.

“At this level the tempo is quicker and higher and you have to retain the ball better at speed but we have shown all these things at very highest level that we can do that, it is ensuring we have that consistency and  not dent our confidence by making mistakes and hopefully create a platform to get a good result.

” I have every confidence with the players that we can go on and put on a good demonstration of our qualities and our aim is to win the game.”

Ralf Rangnick insists he does not need his top RB Leipzig stars to silence Celtic Park for the second time in four years.

The Bundesliga giants have travelled to Glasgow without Germany frontman Timo Werner and Danish international Yussuf Poulsen.

But that has failed to shake Rangnick’s confidence as he looks for the victory that will book their place in the knockout stages.

The 60-year-old has previously tasted victory at Parkhead during his spell at Group B rivals Red Bull Salzburg.

He was the Austrians’ sporting director when they claimed a 3-1 Europa League win against Ronny Deila’s Hoops line-up in November 2014 and Rangnick does not believe his current team’s injury problems will prevent a repeat.

Rangnick, who will ask Matheus Cunha to lead Leipzig’s attack after his goal sealed a 2-0 home win against Brendan Rodgers’ men a fortnight ago, said: “Timo has a problem with his toes and Yussuf has a back issue.

“They can’t play against Celtic but we still have a good team to field in this match.

“We played well against Berlin in front of a huge crowd on Saturday and the players can handle that.

“We are confident we can achieve a win here like Salzburg did four years ago.”



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