Lazio vs Celtic - Neil Lennon keen for Celtic to do Italian job on Lazio

Posted Thursday, November 07, 2019 by PA

Lazio vs Celtic - Neil Lennon keen for Celtic to do Italian job on Lazio

Neil Lennon wants Celtic to end an unwanted record when they take on Lazio in Rome on Thursday night.

The Hoops have not won in 12 trips to Italy, with three draws and nine defeats ahead of their Europa League clash at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Scottish champions beat Lazio 2-1 at Parkhead last month and are top of Group E with seven points from three fixtures and now the Hoops boss is keen to win on Italian soil.

The Northern Irishman said: “Realistically it is going to be very difficult to win here. Records are there to be broken.

“We are going to have to play very well and take our chances if and when they should arise.

“We know we probably won’t dominate possession the way we would do normally in home games and we are going to have to show a huge amount of concentration and quality.

“In the context of the group it is such an important game. And there is so much quality on show.

“It is my first time in Rome taking a team so it is a game we are very excited about and very motivated for.”

Asked if the win against Lazio had given him confidence for the return match, the former Celtic midfielder said: “It was a classic game. Both teams played really well.

“We were winners on the night but we know how difficult the game is going to be.

“Lazio’s form of late has been really good. They had another great victory in the San Siro (against AC Milan) on Sunday so we are under no illusions how big the job is, to come here and try to get a result.

“But the players are also on great form, they have played very well domestically and obviously currently top the (Europa League) group.

“We know that can change very quickly, but we are here to try to get a positive result and there is good belief amongst us to do that.

“In terms of the safety of the fans, we just want them to come and have a celebration, enjoy themselves.

“The atmosphere at Celtic Park when Celtic played Lazio was fantastic, the game was fantastic so we expect more of the same.”

Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi is still smarting from the defeat at Celtic as he prepares for the rematch on Thursday night.

The Hoops arrived in Italy top of Group E after Christopher Jullien’s dramatic header two minutes from time secured a 2-1 win last month.

However, just seconds before Hoops attacker Ryan Christie cancelled out Manuel Lazzari’s opener, Joaquin Correa hit a post on a Lazio counter attack.

Inzaghi recalled that turning point when speaking at his side’s training ground.

He said: “The level was really great, it was a fast and physical game.

“We hit the post and if we had scored obviously it would have been 2-0 instead of 1-1 so those are the factors we are talking about.

“Obviously we had difficulties and want a different result but it was a good game.

“We still made some mistakes and we need to be more focused against these experienced teams.

“Yes, we have to win. We have to change the ranking of the group but it won’t be easy obviously because Celtic are a very good team, full of quality, but we have to focus on (doing) that.”

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