With Manchester City already securing qualification to the Champions League Round of 16 and Celtic out of European competition then this encounter is somewhat of a dead rubber but that doesn’t mean these two sides will be giving it any less in what will be another ‘Battle Of Britain’ this evening.
The last time these two sides met the game ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw. Every time Celtic went ahead they were clawed back by City and the two sides had to make do with a share of the points. That draw signalled the end of Pep Guardiola’s 100% record as City manager so Celtic can be proud of taking that particular scalp.
Celtic are already running away with the Scottish Premiership and still find themselves unbeaten at this stage of the season. They have recently added their 100th piece of silverware to the trophy cabinet after comfortably beating Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup Final.
Saturday saw them keep that unbeaten record intact thanks to a dramatic win over Motherwell. After finding themselves 3-2 down they managed to overturn the deficit and run out 4-3 winners. The Green and White hoops are seemingly steamrollering over all competitors North of the border
They may well be dominating at home but they have fallen particularly short in Europe this season. Progress has arguably been made with them reaching the group stages but the quality of the teams in their groups has meant it’s been a difficult campaign for Brendan Rodgers men.
They will look to use that experience for another tilt at the competition next season and they would also like to end their efforts this season on a high note. But to do that they’ve got to beat a Manchester City side who will still be reeling from defeat to Chelsea on Saturday
Saturday saw City lose 3-1 to title rivals Chelsea and also finish the game with 9 men. Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho now face extended domestic bans but they are available should Pep Guardiola decide to use them this evening. There is every possibility that a fringe side could be played this evening
Because of the fact it is a virtual dead rubber than perhaps Guardiola may feel that it’s not worth playing a full strength side and risking any potential injuries. He could decide to use Aguero and Fernandinho seeing as they won’t be active for the next few weeks on the domestic front.
It’s hard to second guess Pep Guardiola and the City line up will have a big bearing on the result. On the assumption that he does put out a strong side then I think they will have enough to win but if it’s a fringe side then you have to say all bets are off. I’ll go for a City win but I wouldn’t be prepared to bet on that.