The 3 Celts who are due big performances against Lazio

There were plenty of points of encouragement to be taken from Celtic’s defeat in Rotterdam in their Champions League group stage campaign opening fixture. Celtic were competitive and remained in the game up until two moments of madness which ultimately cost the club the game as inexperience in the games of Scandinavian duo Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Holm put paid to Celtic taking anything from the contest.

However, it wasn’t just the club’s new men who could’ve done with performing better, and if Celtic are to get all three points from tonight’s encounter with Italian giants Lazio, then performance levels will have to improve from some of the club’s most key performers.

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Here are 3 players who need to step up if Celtic are to achieve victory this evening.

Kyogo Furuhashi

It has been an unusually quiet few games recently from Celtic’s Japanese talisman. He has consistently been a goalscoring threat so often for Celtic that when he goes a few games without finding the back of the net, it stands out like a sore thumb.

Kyogo hasn’t scored for Celtic in the last 3 games and is still looking to break his goal-scoring duck in the Champions League, having failed to find the net in 7 games in Europe’s premier competition.

However, it could only take one goal for the floodgates to open, you just have to look at his record in derby matches. He failed to score in his first 4 derbies, but after opening his account in a 2-2 draw at Ibrox back in January, it has been free-scoring ever since and just getting the stress of his first Champions League goal out of the way may unlock the shackles.


Reo Hatate

Hatate, much like the aforementioned Kyogo, didn’t have his greatest display in Rotterdam as it was a very hit-and-miss game for the 25-year-old. Whenever Celtic looked like causing any problems in the middle of the park, it was all coming through Hatate, however, he was dispossessed time and time again and in key areas of the park.

He has the quality required to bypass organised opposition defences with his risk-taking and creative passing but he didn’t showcase enough of that against Feyenoord, with service for Kyogo Furuhashi and the rest of Celtic’s frontmen seriously lacking.

That could be placed down to a lack of match sharpness and consistent starts in Celtic’s most recent fixtures should ensure that he is closer to his best this evening.

Callum McGregor

The captain wasn’t at his best in Rotterdam and the club need him to perform at the peak of his powers for these key European fixtures.

He has so often been the key player on the big occasion, not only just for Celtic but for the Scottish national team as well. Helped by O’Riley in doing the defensive work and reliving a lot of the pressure and responsibility off his shoulders, McGregor has been able to play a lot more freely and having the captain back in form and at his brilliant best will be key to success tonight.


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