Anderlecht and Celtic were both soundly beaten on Matchday 1 of this Champions League campaign but in all fairness that probably came as no real surprise what with the opposition that they faced with Bayern Munich and PSG both earning respective opening wins.
When the draw was made for the Group Stage, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers would not have publicly admitted that progress to the Round of 16 was almost a non starter but at the same time he would have certainly identified the two clashes with Belgian champions Anderlecht as the most important.
That is because it will be these two teams that will be left to scrap it out for the Europa League qualification berth that a third place finish will offer, therefore it is almost as if the defeats from a fortnight ago can be written off and the focus now fully sits on this evening.
Especially for Celtic as they cleared the hurdle of an Auld Firm derby on Saturday Lunchtime as they eased to a 2-0 win at Ibrox over perennial rivals Rangers. It is a win that extends their domestic unbeaten run to a staggering 57 matches, this in addition to them staying top of the Scottish Premiership with Aberdeen doing their best to keep pace.
Anderlecht come into this game off the back of somewhat mixed domestic form as they currently sit 7th in the Belgian First Division and are already nine points behind table toppers Club Brugge after just eight games have been played
And it is that shaky form that Celtic will look to take full advantage of and they will have to if they want to continue playing European football at the turn of the year. To be honest it really does not matter what happens against PSG and Bayern they almost have to treat this as a two legged tie to qualify for the Europa League Round of 32.
Can Celtic win, there’s absolutely no reason why they can’t and Anderlecht will certainly provide an interesting test and will provide more of a barometer as to where Brendan Rodgers’ men sit in the continental footballing hierarchy. That said I think this one will end up in a draw which will still be a solid result for the Hoops as long as they get the job done at Celtic Park. A share of the points for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
Who will win the battle for the #EuropaLeague slot between #Anderlecht and #Celtic
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 27, 2017