herald

Monday 28 July 2014

Lustig seeks quiet night

MIKAEL LUSTIG would love a quiet time in Lisbon tomorrow night.

The Celtic full-back has been involved in some incredible matches over the last few weeks but a draw against Benfica would suit him down to the ground.

Lustig played a key role in Celtic's double header with Barcelona which fell in between Sweden's 4-4 draw with Germany and last week's Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired 4-2 win over England.

An away win or score draw would eliminate Benfica from the Champions League which if coupled with a draw or better for Barcelona away to Spartak Moscow would put Celtic into the last 16 with a game to spare.

"Benfica must take three points so there's a lot of pressure on them," Lustig stated.

"We want to go through but Benfica away is probably the second toughest game in the group. Hopefully we can play our style of football and take at least a point.

"We're always expected to go for a win but if it's level with five or ten minutes left we won't be taking too many risks.

"There are still points to be played for in this group. Benfica away and Spartak Moscow at home are both tough opponents but we feel we are quite close and want to go through.

"Benfica are always strong at home, away from home they are more defensive and seemed happy with a 0-0 against us in the opening match. We expect them to be very attack minded on Tuesday."

Celtic go into tomorrow's match as SPL leaders following the 2-0 win away to Aberdeen on Saturday thanks to goals from Lassad Nouioui and Charlie Mulgrew.



Tough

As soon as the final whistle blew Neil Lennon's thoughts switched to the Champions League and the side he'll field tomorrow night.

Scott Brown, Gary Hooper and Joe Ledley all missed out in the win over Aberdeen with Lennon hopeful that all three will be available for tomorrow night's showdown.

"It is going to be just as difficult as the Barcelona game," the Celtic boss admitted. "Benfica are going to be so motivated.

"It was a bonus beating Barca and now they still need points to qualify, which should hopefully work in our favour. People will maybe respect us a bit more now but I don't think any team would have taken us lightly anyway.

"However, Benfica will be desperate to win. They will be on the front foot and we will need to start well. But the players have shown a great mentality for these games and they are burning to qualify.

"We will need to play very strongly. If we can get a score draw and Barca get a result we are there but I'm not contemplating that yet."

Benfica made it six wins in a row on Friday night when they won 2-0 away to Moreinense to reach the last eight of the Portuguese Cup.

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