Celtic welcome defending champions, Real Madrid to Celtic Park in Group F of 2022-23 UEFA Champions League.
With RB Leipzig hosting Shakhtar Donetsk in Germany in the other Group F match, victory could see Celtic or Real Madrid go top if they can better the result in Germany.
Kyogo Furuhashi is set to be available for Celtic after recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in Saturday’s Old Firm derby win over Rangers.
Carl Starfelt (knee) and Yosuke Ideguchi (leg) are both ruled out. .
Real could welcome Jesus Vallejo back into contention after he missed their last two matches with a muscle injury.
Alvaro Odriozola (muscle) is also set to be available for selection.
- Celtic have won one of two previous meetings against Real Madrid in this competition (W1, L1), albeit back in 1979-80 at Quarter-Final stage of the European Cup as it was previously named.
- Real Madrid lost their only previous visit to Celtic in UEFA’s premier competition – losing 2-0 in the first leg of their Quarter-Final tie in 1979-80 European Cup in March 1980.
- Both teams have kept clean sheets when playing as the home team against one another.
- Celtic have won two of their last five home matches against Spanish opposition in all UEFA competitions (W2, L3).
- Real Madrid are unbeaten in two of three previous away trips to Scottish opposition (W1, D1, L1), although this is their first clash against a Scottish club under the ‘Champions League’ name.
As underdogs in this difficult group, Celtic have the tricky prospect of having little pressure on them with many expecting them to not advance, yet the pressure is still on at the same time because anything can happen in this congested group stage compared to usual.
One positive though is that although facing reigning champions, Real Madrid in their opening match is a daunting prospect, Celtic can come into this match full of confidence after thrashing Rangers at the weekend with a ruthless attacking display.
Real though are yet to taste anything other than victory in any competition this season with five wins from five matches, yet they have kept only one clean sheet so will certainly be there defensively for the taking which could suit Celtic if they get on the front foot early and finish clinically.
Goals therefore wouldn’t be a surprise but I just can’t see Real losing this given their attacking superiority, whch should be the defining difference.
Prediction: Celtic 1-3 Real Madrid
Result: Celtic 0-3 Real Madrid