FC Copenhagen v Celtic: Neil Lennon says side won't underestimate hosts

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland in Copenhagen
Celtic need VAR patience - Lennon
Europa League last 32 first leg: Copenhagen v Celtic
Venue: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen Date: Thursday, 20 February Kick-off: 17:55 GMT
Coverage: Listen BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Celtic will not underestimate a "smart, athletic and well-organised" FC Copenhagen when the sides meet in Denmark in the last 32 of the Europa League, says Neil Lennon.

Scotland's champions play their Danish counterparts in Thursday's first leg.

Celtic have not gone beyond this stage since the competition was rebranded but Lennon says confidence is high after nine consecutive wins in 2020.

"It's going to be difficult. We'll have to think our way through it," he said.

"Tactically they are smart, they are very athletic and defensively well-organised, and I've played here before and we lost, but we're on good form and confidence is good."

Celtic have travelled without defenders Greg Taylor and Hatem Elhamed and striker Leigh Griffiths, who was injured in training.

That may necessitate a change of shape, with the back three that has served Lennon's side well since the winter break perhaps having to become a four.

However, the manager insists his side are "comfortable" with both systems and will "try and influence the game early".

"Getting an away goal would be fantastic and we're aiming for that to try and take to Glasgow," said Lennon, who lost a Champions League group stage game in Parken Stadium in 2006.

"But we have to be mindful of Copenhagen's danger men. They put the ball in the box a lot. They get the ball a good with from the full backs as well. They're a strong side.

"Copenhagen have great pedigree in Europe and the manager is very experienced, so I don't know if we're favourites or not, but we're coming here to play as strongly as we can."

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