CALLUM McGregor was part of the squad that beat Lazio home and away under Neil Lennon a few years ago.

Callum McGregor Celtic
20th August 2023; Rugby Park, Kilmarnock, Scotland: Scottish Viaplay Cup Football, Kilmarnock versus Celtic; Callum McGregor of Celtic

The now Celtic captain is looking to replicate the displays in the Champions League, a step up from when the sides last met in the Europa League.

Celtic haven’t registered a home Champions League win since 2013 when they beat Ajax in the group stages. A win against Lazio, in what really is a must-win game for Brendan Rodgers and his side, would be a terrific, but long-overdue, achievement from the Hoops.

Reflecting on the nights in Glasgow and Rome, Callum McGregor said: [The Herald]

“That Lazio home game was a wee while ago now.

“But obviously it was a really positive night. It was a tough game and to win it in that fashion in the last couple of minutes was great.

“The big man (Christopher Jullien) gets a header on it for a brilliant late winner. The place was rocking, the atmosphere was great. It was an amazing night. Obviously, we then went and repeated it a few weeks later in Rome.

“We need to try and reproduce that type of performance, draw on that type of energy, especially from the crowd at home. Everyone has to play well. You need a bit of luck, you need your goalkeeper to make big saves. You just need the perfect storm really.

“That’s what you need. Especially at this level. You need to play with personality. It’s about trying to stay calm, sticking to your structures and knowing you can score goals and defend properly. That was the perfect example of it.”

The group is really tight, and it’s going to be a challenge for the Hoops if they want to play European football after Christmas, but it’s something that’s well in their control.

Should they beat Lazio at home, they will be in a great place already and will be looking at other matches where they can pick up a few points. However, Lazio will be no pushovers, despite their poor start to the season in Italy.


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