Simone Inzaghi believes Lazio ought to be excited at facing Celtic in front of 60,000 fans. “They are very dangerous on their own turf.”
The Europa League match kicks off on Thursday in Glasgow at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).
“We showed a lot of character on Saturday to come back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Atalanta, but it wasn’t the only time, as we also fought hard against Roma and Bologna,” said the coach in his press conference.
“We usually approach games well, but have analysed what happened in the first half with Atalanta and realise we should’ve done much better.
“Celtic run hard, they have spirit and decent technique. We’ve got to put in a great performance, because Celtic are very dangerous on their own turf.
“Last season, they qualified comfortably from their Europa League group, then lost to a Valencia side that reached the semi-final.
“Celtic have a marvellous home crowd who propel them forward, so it’s natural they have a different attitude with 60,000 supporters behind them.
“It won’t be decisive for qualification, but it will be very, very important, because there are only three games left after that. We’ve always qualified comfortably before, but we know that we started with a defeat at Cluj and have to make up for it.
“Celtic are organised and press high, they really reflect the characteristics of their manager. We’ll have to defend and soak up pressure at times, while at other moments we’ll impose our football on them.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon said this could practically be a Champions League fixture rather than in the Europa League.
“I think it’s wonderful for my players to be in this atmosphere. I’ve experienced many nights like this in my playing career and know the difficulties involved.
“Celtic can get 65,000 people in for a Europa League game, whereas we had 10-15,000 against Rennes. It’s a cultural shift, I’m afraid. I don’t know why Italian fans aren’t excited by it, but they should be. We should relish this atmosphere at Celtic Park even more.”
Lazio were also penalised by UEFA for racist chanting from a section of the ultras in the Curva Nord.
“Lazio have always fought all forms of racism. There will be no problems tomorrow and it’ll be a great game,” assured Inzaghi.
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