Celtic face Benfica with their sights set on the knockout stage
Last Updated: 19/11/12 9:19pm
Neil Lennon: Hoping to secure European progress on Tuesday
Celtic will be hoping to book their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League when they travel to Benfica.
Lisbon holds fond memories for the Bhoys, with the Portuguese capital providing the backdrop for their historic European Cup success in 1967.
Victory on Tuesday would secure a top-two finish in Group G and progress to the knockout stage.
A score draw would also see Celtic safely through, with Neil Lennon hoping to avoid leaving things until the final round of fixtures.
Benfica, though, harbour qualification aspirations of their own and know victory on home soil would lift them back above the SPL champions.
A 0-0 draw at Parkhead on Matchday One suggests they have the measure of Celtic, while the Portuguese outfit have prevailed in their three previous home meetings with the Hoops .
Celtic, though, feel almost invincible following their remarkable victory over Barcelona in their last European outfit and will be hoping to draw inspiration from the Lisbon Lions of years gone by.
Benfica playmaker Pablo Aimar is a doubt after he was nowhere to be seen during a training session open to the media on Monday.
However, Maxi Pereira, who has been sidelined by a thigh injury since 7th November, was put through his paces.
Carlos Martins (thigh), Eduardo Salvio (foot), Ezequiel Garay and Enzo Perez also came through the session unscathed and will be in Jorge Jesus' thoughts.
Lennon has revealed that he has doubts over the potential involvement of one senior star, but has refused to reveal the identity of said player.
Scott Brown (hip), Joe Ledley (groin) and Gary Hooper (hamstring) are all nursing knocks.
The trio have, however, made the trip to Portugal and will hope to be involved at some stage.
- otFive of the nine goals scored between Benfica and Celtic in this season's Champions League have been headers.
- otCeltic have mustered just 10 attempts at goal from open play, a competition-low this season.
- otBenfica have won all four European games at home against Scottish opposition, without conceding a goal.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 1 Artur
- 14 Pereira M
- 4 Luisao
- 24 Garay
- 28 Silvio
- 5 Fejsa
- 21 Matic
- 35 Perez
- 20 Gaitan
- 50 Markovic
- 11 Lima
Team taken from Benfica vs Paris St Germain (UEFA Champions League) on Tuesday 10th December 2013
- 1 Forster
- 23 Lustig
- 4 Ambrose
- 5 van Dijk
- 2 Matthews
- 8 Brown S
- 6 Biton
- 16 Ledley
- 11 Boerrigter
- 20 Pukki
- 9 Samaras
Team taken from Celtic vs Barcelona (UEFA Champions League) on Wednesday 11th December 2013
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UEFA Champions League
Tue 20th Nov - Group G
Spartak Mos0 - 3Barcelona
Benfica2 - 1Celtic
Tue 20th Nov - Group F
BATE Borisov0 - 2Lille
Valencia1 - 1Bay Munich
Tue 20th Nov - Group H
Galatasaray1 - 0Man Utd
Cluj3 - 1Braga
Tue 20th Nov - Group E
Nordsjaelland2 - 5Shak Donetsk
Juventus3 - 0Chelsea
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H
Benfica v Celtic
Celtic must pass the ball more crisply to reach the Champions League's last 16, says John Collins.
Benfica coach Jorge Jesus will draw inspiration from Celtic's win over Barcelona when he takes his side to Camp Nou.
Scott Brown may have to have an operation to cure his hip problem which will put him out of action for up to 10 weeks.