It is a scenario of win or bust in Group B for Celtic as they know that defeat to Bayern Munich could see them knocked out of the Champions League. If Bayern and PSG both pick up wins tonight then Brendan Rodgers‘ men will then have to make do with a battle with Anderlecht for the Europa League consolation.
Looking at PSG and Anderlecht going head to head tonight I don’t think Celtic can look to the French juggernaut to do them any favours so they are going to have to do things the hard way and that is by beating a Bayern Munich side which eased to victory in the Allianz Arena when the two sides met a fortnight ago.
With the draw always being this unkind to Celtic the reality was always going to be trying to secure third place to stay in continental competition past the New Year and in that aspect they are halfway there after beating Anderlecht on their own turf in Matchday 2.
And although they would love to continue mixing it with the very best that Europe has to offer in the Round of 16 and beyond there will be no real shame if that plan does not come to fruition, if anything this game offers something of a free hit.
It may well be win or bust in terms of Champions League participation put due to the Europa League parachute that they are well in grasp of they can go out against Bayern with no real pressure with the hope being that the game is more of a contest than the one two weeks prior.
Not only that though they will want to put up more of a fight then what they did though against PSG in Matchday 1, that was a very one sided game but in fairness to the Scottish champions not many sides will go up against Unai Emery’s men and get out alive this season.
For Bayern life under Jupp Heynckes is not treaty them all too badly, they have returned to what they feel is their rightful summit at the top of the Bundesliga as they now sit three points clear of perennial rivals Borussia Dortmund who have been knocked off of their early season perch.
The weekend saw Bayern Munich pick up a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig, this was the second time that they met in less than a week after a clash in the DFB Pokal. That game went on to extra time and penalties with Bayern coming out on top by virtue of winning the shootout by a score of five kicks to four.
So it is fair to say that the German giants are building up a head of steam and they will look to continue that resurgent momentum later tonight as they go up against a Celtic side which could only draw at home to Kilmarnock at the weekend.
That said those games are their bread and butter and that draw will have little to no effect on their end of season achievements, the domestic unbeaten record is still in tact but the aim is to try and increase their foothold on the European stage.
Unfortunately for them I can’t see that being the outcome tonight as Celtic will then have to make do with making sure that third place does not slip through the fingers and the Europa League place that comes with it, I’m going for a routine Bayern win this time around. An away win for me.