Bayer Leverkusen welcome Celtic to BayArena in a crunch Group G match in 2021-22 UEFA Europa League.
Victory would see Bayer Leverkusen qualify for the knockout stages whereas a win could see Celtic go second but would ensure that at least one qualification spot is up for grabs in the final round of group matches.
Patrik Schick is a doubt for Bayer Leverkusen with an ankle injury.
Charles Aranguiz (calf) is a doubt but Mitchel Bakker (ankle), Julien Baumgartlinger and Timothy Fosu-Mensah (both knee) and Lucas Alario (calf) are ruled out.
Celtic could be without Giorgos Giakoumakis after the striker missed Saturday’s Scottish League Cup victory over St Johnstone with a knee injury on Saturday.
Carl Starfelt and Tomas Rogic (both hamstring) are doubtful but Christopher Julien (knee), Greg Taylor (shoulder) and Karamoko Dembele (ankle) remain absent.
- Bayer Leverkusen won their only previous match against Celtic after thrashing the Hoops 4-0 at Celtic Park in September (W1).
- Celtic are visiting Leverkusen for the very first time in all competitions, yet are winless in six previous away clashes with German opposition this century across all UEFA competitions (D2, L4).
- Florian Wirtz has netted once in each of Bayer Leverkusen’s two home matches in Group F this season.
- Celtic have scored first in their two previous Group G away matches this season, in which the Hoops went on to net three goals in both away games without keeping a clean sheet (W1, L1).
- In the last two matches across all competitions refereed by Anastasois Sidiropoulos, the away teams both scored four goals – Slovenia and Leicester against Malta and Spartak Moscow respectively.
One thing which we can expect from Bayer Leverkusen is plenty of goals with eight different goalscorers already in this group, which I can’t see ending here because their attacking style is of a level which many teams are struggling to live with in all competitions.
Celtic meanwhile were outplayed in the reverse fixture in late September but they have since gone on an unbeaten run, yet have kept just one clean sheet in five away matches in all competitions so this definitely could be a cracking contest because both teams will be going for the win.
On that note, tactics will be crucial to the result here but if Celtic play like they did against St Johnstone on Saturday, they really should stand a strong chance at victory but their poor form against German opposition this century makes a win unlikely.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Celtic
Result: Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Celtic