'Pirlo and Buffon have never experienced anything like it' – Home advantage key for Celtic, says Hartson

The former Hoops striker believes that the stars of Juventus can be shaken by the incredible atmosphere at Celtic Park in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash
By Russell Stoddart

Celtic legend John Hartson believes that the atmosphere at Celtic Park can help the Bhoys to take a crucial first-leg lead in their Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus.

Neil Lennon's side take on the Serie A holders on Tuesday night and the former striker feels that they will need to take a lead to Italy if they are to progress.


"Even experienced Juve players such as Andrea Pirlo and Gianluigi Buffon will never have experienced anything like it," Hartson told Goal.com.

"The East End of Glasgow on a European night is an electric place. It is no fluke that teams like Barcelona, AC Milan and Manchester United have lost here in recent memory."

The ex-Arsenal star believes that in-demand striker Gary Hooper can also put uncertainty about his own future behind him and use the Champions League as a stage to show what the Premier League and England are missing.

The former Scunthorpe forward was the subject of five failed bids from Norwich City in January, while Three Lions coach Roy Hodgson is said to be keeping tabs on him with a view to an international call-up.

"Gary can now relax after the transfer window shut," Hartson continued. "He knows he's not going anywhere for at least the next few months, so he can concentrate on his football.
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"It is a great chance for Gary to show what he can do against the best but that also goes for others, such as Charlie Mulgrew, Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews."