Brendan Rodgers admits Zenit St Petersburg go into tonight’s Europa League tie as favourites, with the Celtic boss praising their technique, aggressive style and financial power.
Zenit are yet to lose in this year’s Europa League, having finished with 16 points in Group L, which featured Real Sociedad, Rosenborg and Macedonian side FK Vardar.
And while the Hoops have parachuted into their tie with Zenit having finished third in their Champions League group, Rodgers still sees Roberto Mancini’s side as a “big challenge”.
In an interview published on celticfc.net, Rodgers added that despite being considered underdogs, his players will have a “really good go” in tonight’s match at Celtic Park.
“In terms of the standard of both teams across Europe, I think it’s fair to say they’re favourites.”
“They won five out of six group-stage games in the Europa League, so they will come into this competition as one of the favourites with the quality they have.”
“Zenit are a very big club in Russia with a lot of financial power behind them.”
Rodgers added, “They have an outstanding manager with a host of really good players.
“They play an aggressive style. Their speed in the team is good and their technique is good.
“They’re a real threat so we know we have a big challenge on our hands over the two games.”
So, Celtic fans, do you fancy your teams chances of nicking a result at home tonight? Or will Zenit prove themselves as a hurdle too far for Rodgers’ squad?