Champions League: Celtic have chance to qualify against Spartak
Last Updated: December 5, 2012 10:03am
Neil Lennon: Looking to guide Celtic into the last 16 of the Champions League
A famous night could lie in store for Celtic as Neil Lennon's men bid to secure their passage to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
Neil Lennon believes he is on the cusp of his greatest achievement as Celtic manager as he prepares for the club's Group G decider against Spartak Moscow at Parkhead.
The Hoops had to fight their way through two qualifying rounds and were then unfancied when drawn alongside the Russian club, Benfica and Barcelona.
However, with seven points from five games, including a famous 2-1 home win over the Catalan giants, the Scottish champions will go through to the knockout stages if they get a better result against Spartak, who are consigned to the bottom of the table, than Benfica get at Camp Nou.
The former Celtic skipper, who became boss of the club in 2010, is expecting a tense night as updates filter through from Spain.
Celtic have struggled for consistency on the domestic front over the past few weeks, having drawn with Arbroath in the Scottish Cup on Saturday, and Lennon will hope a return to European football sharpens their focus.
Spartak, beaten 3-2 by the Scots at the Luzhniki Stadium earlier in the campaign, are looking to get back on track after a 4-2 loss at home to Zenit St Petersburg last Friday which left them eighth in the Russian Premier League.
Victor Wanyama is suspended for Celtic after picking up another booking in the Hoops' previous European game against Benfica in Lisbon, taking him over the points limit.
Midfielder Paddy McCourt (hamstring), winger James Forrest (hamstring) and Anthony Stokes (ankle) remain out of contention.
Former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady is back in contention for Spartak after returning on Friday following six weeks out with a foot problem.
Sergei Pesyakov (broken metatarsal), Welliton (collarbone), Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (abdominal injury), Romulo (knee) and Soslan Gatagov (knee) are all sidelined.
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 1 Forster
- 23 Lustig
- 6 Wilson K
- 4 Ambrose
- 3 Izaguirre
- 20 McCourt
- 8 Brown S
- 16 Ledley
- 15 Commons
- 9 Samaras
- 88 Hooper
Team taken from Celtic vs Dundee Utd (Clydesdale Bank Premier League) on Sunday 19th May 2013
- 30 S Pesiakov
- 7 Kombarov
- 2 Insaurralde
- 17 Suchy
- 23 Kombarov
- 6 P Rafael Carioca
- 21 Kallstrom
- 19 Jurado
- 10 Dzyuba
- 9 Ari
- 29 Emenike
Team taken from Spartak Mos vs Celtic (UEFA Champions League) on Wednesday 5th December 2012
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UEFA Champions League
Wed 5th Dec - Group E
Shak Donetsk0 - 1Juventus
Chelsea6 - 1Nordsjaelland
Wed 5th Dec - Group F
Lille0 - 1Valencia
Bay Munich4 - 1BATE Borisov
Wed 5th Dec - Group G
Celtic2 - 1Spartak Mos
Barcelona0 - 0Benfica
Wed 5th Dec - Group H
Man Utd0 - 1Cluj
Braga1 - 2Galatasaray
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H
Celtic v Spartak Moscow
Neil Lennon hopes reaching the last 16 of the Champions League will persuade the likes of Gary Hooper to stay at Celtic.
Kris Commons believes Celtic are a match for anyone in the Champions League and would like to face Manchester United.
Kris Commons had the daunting task of taking a late penalty for Celtic but he held his nerve to send the Hoops in the last 16.
- Lennon: Celtic have character
- Brown hails Celtic work ethic
- Celtic win to reach last 16
- Jurado eyeing Spartak victory
- Brown: We'll welcome McGeady
- European clash excites Lennon
- Forrest focused on Spartak
- Messi hopes to help Celtic
- McGeady ready for Celtic clash
- Hoops wary of Karpin's Spartak
- Ambrose confident of success