Charlie Nicholas predicts victor between Celtic and Zenit

Celtic's Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers looks on during the UEFA Europa League football match between Celtic and Zenit Saint Petersburg at Celtic Park stadium in Glasgow Scotland

The French midfielder may be the most expensive buy of Rodgers' tenure so far but the £4.5 million capture from Manchester City only celebrated his 22nd birthday earlier this month.

Fans of Celtic's bitter rivals were quick to take the bait and respond to the pundit and weren't having any of it - with one supporting commenting that the Thursday fixtures do the Hoops "no favours" after dropping points against St. Johnstone following last week's first leg.

Boss Roberto Mancini is confident Celtic will see a better Zenit St Petersburg side in the second leg of their Europa League clash on Thursday night.

Owing to Gordon's absence, Rodgers is expected to station Dorus de Vries between the sticks.

It is a team which Ntcham believes is growing up quickly together in footballing terms as they seek to extend their European campaign beyond this week.

We've been playing different formations and styles against top-quality teams.

"The manager has said that there is growth in the team and I think that is true".

"The whole Celtic team were good and played well, in the second half we improved and managed to stop them and it was a shame to lose the game towards the end".

"We played a flawless game, really, in terms of how the players defended and attacked".

Of course, we would have liked to have had one or two more goals but the concentration and our quality in our game was at a very high level. We know it is going to be hard but we believe we can do it.

"When you achieve your targets, you are always happy and that is what we want to do this week".

"We just need to continue to work and show the same performance as last week".

"Everything can change at the end of the season but at this moment it is not my priority, my priority is Celtic tomorrow and the championship".

Ahead of the return game in Russian Federation on Thursday night, Northern Irishman Rodgers called for his players to control their emotions.



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