Celtic - Juventus Preview: Bhoys have won 21 of their last 23 Champions League home matches
Neil Lennon's side welcome the current Serie A leaders to Glasgow on Tuesday night aiming to seal passage into the quarter-finals of Europe's premier cup competition
By Ryan Benson
Matthews, Lustig, Wilson, Izaguirre
Brown, Wanyama, Mulgrew
Samara, Hooper, Forrest
Bonucci, Barzagli, Caceres
Lichtsteiner, Marchisio, Vidal, Asamoah
With Celtic currently enjoying an 18-point lead at the top of the SPL, Neil Lennon made a host of changes for the weekend win over Inverness in order to ensure fresh legs.
However, question marks remain over a number of players. Emilio Izaguirre (knee) and Georgios Samaras (thigh) had previously been rated as 50/50 for the match, but with Lennon insisting their treatments would be as aggressive as possible, starts look highly plausible.
Efe Ambrose will be available for selection, but his appearance in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations final win on Sunday means he looks set to take a place on the bench, with Kelvin Wilson already highlighted as a probable starter.
Juventus head coach Antonio Conte has almost a full squad to pick from, with very few players missing for the trip to Scotland.
Giorgio Chiellini (calf) is still a few days away from a return, while Paolo De Ceglie, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner (all thigh) will miss out too.
On the positive side for Conte, Claudio Marchisio has recovered from the injury which had kept him out for a month, while Kwadwo Asamoah is back from Afcon duty with Ghana.
Meanwhile, Leonardo Bonucci's domestic suspension means he will be refreshed for Tuesday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- On each of the four previous occasions these sides have met, the home team has been victorious.
- Twelve goals have been scored over the course of their last two meetings.
- Celtic have never been further than this stage of the competition since it was rebranded as the Champions League. They are 19/5 to qualify for the next round with BetVictor.
- From their previous 23 Champions League home matches, Celtic have only been beaten twice. Both of those defeats came against Barcelona.
Like Borussia Dortmund, Malaga and Schalke, Juventus are unbeaten so far in this season's competition.
- The Italians conceded just four goals in the group stages. Only Paris Saint-Germain have a better record, having let in three goals.
- The Serie A leaders scored four of their 12 group stage goals from the bench, more than any other side.
- Gianluigi Buffon (pictured right) is the only player in either squad who played the last time the two sides met in 2001.
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Top 3 Predictions
Celtic 0-2 Juventus
- 21.03 %
Celtic 1-2 Juventus
- 15.18 %
Celtic 1-3 Juventus
- 8.66 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||6 Mar 2013||Juventus 2 - Celtic 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||12 Feb 2013||Celtic 0 - Juventus 3|
|11 Dec 2013||Barcelona 6 - Celtic 1||UCL|
|26 Nov 2013||Celtic 0 - AC Milan 3||UCL|
|6 Nov 2013||Ajax 1 - Celtic 0||UCL|
|22 Oct 2013||Celtic 2 - Ajax 1||UCL|
|1 Oct 2013||Celtic 0 - Barcelona 1||UCL|
Goalkeeper Fraser Forster was absolutely essential to Celtic getting out of the group stage, performing heroics throughout, most notably in the home win over Barcelona.
Out of all the keepers who made it through to the knockout phase, none made more saves than Forster, who got his body in the way of shots 25 times. One gets the impression he will be busy once again over the course of this two-legged affair.
It would be easy to single out Andrea Pirlo as the Old Lady's key cog, but with Victor Wanyama likely to be snapping at the Italian's heels at every given opportunity he will need an accomplice. That is where Vidal comes in.
The Chile international is an all-round midfielder who can pass, dribble and tackle, and those assets will be needed if the visitors are unable to maximise Pirlo's influence.