If Celtic are to harbour any realistic hope of qualifying for the Champions League Round of 16 then they need to get a result tonight against the German giants of Bayern Munich. It is fair to say that PSG are going to brush aside all that gets in their way and it is these two sides that will be fighting over second spot.
PSG made light work of Celtic in Matchday 1 and then perhaps surprisingly made Bayern Munich look very ordinary during Matchday 2. This result was ultimately the end for previous Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti who soon exited the Allianz Arena, it seems that winning the Bundesliga simply is not enough for this club.
So it is left to Juup Heynckes to charge until the end of the season to not only get their European exploits back on track but to steer the ship along domestic waters also. Bayern have been the gold standard in the Bundesliga over the last few years but it is fair to say that they are not having it all their own way this season.
That is because they currently find themselves second behind perennial arch rivals Borussia Dortmund. Bayern are two points behind Paul Bosz’s men but there are signs that they have got their season back on track after handing out a 5-0 thumping to Freiburg at the weekend.
If Bayern know everything about German dominance then the same can be said about Celtic in Scotland. There dreams of advancing to the knockout stages would have been given a massive shot in the arm in Matchday 2 when they beat Anderlecht 3-0 away from home.
When the group draw the realistic prospect was that Bayern and PSG would be fighting it out over top spot while Celtic and Anderlecht would have to make do with the Europa League crumbs. But with Bayern and Celtic on the same points at present and the German side in something of a state of flux then Brendan Rodgers will know that there may not be a better time to face them.
If they can get something from this tie then it would set matters up very nicely for the return tie next month, Celtic admittedly go into this game as the underdogs. But like Tottenham in Madrid last night they should very little to fear at the same time.
Domestically Aberdeen are keeping them honest at the moment but as usually seems to be the case, Celtic will kick on across the winter months and eventually open up an unassailable lead, the SPFL is their bread and butter but this well and truly is the main course.
Leigh Griffiths who has had an impressive run of form with the Scottish national team will be looking to emulate those exploits for this club and become the talisman for Celtic tonight. The fact there is no Manuel Neuer for Bayern will undoubtedly be a boost for the Scottish champions.
There is no doubting Bayern will have the stronger squad on paper but Celtic will give it everything they have, the Scots may well give the Germans a bloody nose but I think Bayern’s 5-0 win at the weekend may well give them the boost they need. A home win for me but no disaster for Celtic at the same time.