'Celtic can beat Leipzig at home', says Rodgers

Sherman Parsons
October 28, 2018

James Forrest is suspended and Leicester loanee Filip Benkovic is a doubt.

Rodgers, whose side have three points from their first two fixtures, challenged those fringe players who will come in to make their mark and, in the first of a double-header against the German side, he is looking for a better performance after their 3-1 defeat to Salzburg in their last European outing. Leigh hasn't returned to training and Tom Rogic hasn't travelled - he has an issue with his knee.

Celtic have three points from nine and host Leipzig, who have six points, next month but first face a crucial Betfred Cup semi-final against Hearts at Murrayfield on Sunday. "We know if we're going to have any aspirations of coming out of the group then it's a game we have to win". I don't feel it's the same this year, I think the players are a little bit more cerebral and understand more about the defensive shape than maybe we did last season. We trust in everybody in our squad and we're looking forward to this game.

Combined with their costly defensive lapses, Celtic offered little going forward, and they nearly fell three behind when Jean-Kevin Augustin had a fierce strike tipped onto the post by Craig Gordon after 65 minutes.

Celtic are now third in their Europa League group, three points behind leaders Red Bull Salzburg.

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Rodgers said: "Jozo looks like he'll be struggling". Salzburg have won both their games and I would expect them to win both matches against Rosenborg.

"I think it was really just pure energy and effort last season. I believe it gives us a great chance but we know we have some work to do".

"But it's okay", Rodgers said, "We have a number of young players and other players who may have the opportunity over these next few games who have been training very hard and working very well to have an opportunity to play".

'We had a big chance through Odsonne Edouard after seven minutes and then had a period of 15 minutes where we did well. "So it's a great thing for the players to know that people are putting their hands in their pocket to come and watch them".

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