- (Photo: Reuters/David Moir)
Celtic hosts Russian team Spartak Moscow in the final game of the group stage as the Scottish side aims to advance to the next round with a win.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon will focus his team on the task at hand while keeping an open ear to the group's other match, Benfica, at Barcelona. Celtic needs to win and Benfica to lose in order to advance. He should be confident of such a result, given that Benfica faces Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Lennon will have to contend will several key players being absent for this match, and will look to provide his team will a strong defensive stance, so inexperienced players aren't put in a compromising position during the match.
Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama is suspended for the last Champions League group game against Spartak Moscow. Pat McCourt, James Forrest and Anthony Stokes all remain sidelined with their respective injuries.
"Wanyama will be a big loss but that's subsidized with the fact we have Beram Kayal who is fit and doing well, along with Joe Ledley and Scott Brown," Lennon said during a press conference.
Lennon knows that fans and coaches will be watching the score from Barcelona just as much as the Celtic match itself, but assured doubters that his team will be ready to play.
"I don't think we can stop that getting through from the crowd but the players will be focused regardless of the result elsewhere … I want them to be concentrated. It is a difficult enough task as it is," Lennon said.
On a positive note, Celtic captain Scott Brown has been training with the team since suffering a hip injury and is expected to start in this crucial match. In order for Celtic to advance to the knock-out round, they must have a better result than other group member Benfica's result in Barcelona.
For Spartak Moscow, they have already been mathematically eliminated from the competition and will look to end their campaign on a positive note.
Kick-off for the match is at 2:45 ET and can be watched online here.