Celtic eyes another big win in Champions League
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — After beating Barcelona in one of the biggest shocks of the group stage, the visit of Juventus holds no fears for Celtic ahead of their last-16 match in the Champions League on Tuesday.
AC Milan and Manchester United have also slipped to Champions League losses at the intimidating Celtic Park since 2006, so the Italian champions and current Serie A leaders have been warned.
"I think we have been (underestimated) throughout the whole campaign and going into this game we are being made out to be massive underdogs but I don't quite see it that way myself," Celtic manager Neil Lennon said.
"There is a real belief, anything can happen over two games. . We have proved already this season that we can be a match for anyone."
Celtic relied on set pieces and counterattacks to not only beat Barcelona 2-1 at home — reducing pop star and loyal fan Rod Stewart to tears in the process — but also come within a stoppage-time goal from Jordi Alba of earning a draw at Camp Nou in group play.
The same pragmatic approach is likely to be utilized against Juventus, which is expected to dominate possession in both legs — especially with classy Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo recovered from a thigh strain that he sustained on international duty last week.
Juventus warmed up for the match with a 2-0 win over Fiorentina on Saturday, putting the team's league campaign back on track after struggling somewhat in January, and has been practising at the training complex of Celtic's fierce Glasgow rival, Rangers.
"We had a lapse a few weeks ago but we've bounced back great," defender Federico Peluso said. "That's our strength. Now we've got to face Celtic with the same spirit.
"We're aware of our strength. After all, if we've reached the last 16 of the Champions League, it's not by chance."
To get to the knockout stage, Juventus topped a tough group containing reigning champion Chelsea and Ukrainian champion Shakhtar Donetsk, one of the top emerging teams from eastern Europe. The Italians were one of four clubs to finish group play unbeaten.
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