Celtic suffered another setback in the Scottish Premiership when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Dundee United last weekend.
Liel Abada’s 16th-minute header to open the scoring was cancelled out just two minutes later by an equally-impressive header from Ian Harkes. Hoops trio David Turnbull, Tom Rogic and Jota all hit the Tangerines’ crossbar, while Albian Ajeti somehow blazed over a glorious opportunity from just a few yards out, meaning the hosts had to settle for just a point.
Celtic’s inconsistent start to the new campaign, winning and losing three league games each, sees them positioned in sixth place, six points behind league leaders and reigning champions Rangers.
Head coach Ange Postecoglou is convinced his side are ‘on the right road’, though performances need to improve if the Australian is to win over the Celtic supporters.
As underwhelming as they have been so far this term, the Bhoys’ form on home soil has at least been a positive, winning seven and drawing two of their nine matches at Parkhead. However, they head into Thursday’s clash against Bayer Leverkusen after losing 10 of their last 17 European matches at home.
Celtic also have a poor record against German opposition, winning just four of their 24 games against them. All four, however, were at Parkhead including their most recent win against RB Leipzig during the 2018-19 Europa League group stage.
Leverkusen are arguably the strongest side in Group G, so Celtic could be in for a difficult night, but after losing their opening group game to Real Betis earlier this month – suffering a 4-3 defeat in Seville – the Hoops cannot afford to drop too many more points if they wish to advance into the knockout rounds.
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Bayer Leverkusen extended their winning run across all competitions to three matches, when they secured a slender 1-0 victory at home against Mainz in the Bundesliga last weekend.
Teenage sensation Florian Wirtz, who has been linked with a move away from the BayArena, scored the only goal of the game midway through the second half, increasing his personal goal tally for this season to five in six appearances.
Gerardo Seoane’s side have climbed up to second in the Bundesliga standings, just three points behind league leaders and reigning champions Bayern Munich, who they are to face in just over two weeks’ time