Ferencvaros actually made it to the group stage of last season’s Champions League but found it difficult to compete, understandably picking up a solitary point in a group which included Juventus and Barcelona.
The Hungarian champions failed to make it through the qualifiers on this occasion, beating Kosovo’s FC Prishtina, Lithuania’s FK Zalgiris and Slavia Prague, but losing 3-2 to Young Boys in both legs of the final stage.
That saw them drop into the Europa League, where they have found life equally tough and are yet to pick up a point, losing to Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Celtic in the first three games.
Whilst their chances of progressing to the knockouts look slim, Peter Stoger will want to see his side at least fight for a respectable second half to the group stages and they can carry the momentum of back-to-back victories in their last two games – including a 7-0 win in the cup – into Thursday’s match.
Celtic also found life difficult in Group G at the start of their European endeavours and went into the last match bottom of the table with zero points and having conceded eight times, which remains the most by any club in the competition.
They did finally earn some points last time out, though, with a 2-0 win – the Hungarian minnows held firm for almost an hour at Celtic Park, but goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and David Turnbull were enough to secure the victory.
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That will have given them some hope of progressing and boss Ange Postecoglou knows that another win in Budapest will put them within touching distance of the top two, at least one of whom will inevitably drop points when they face each other on Thursday.
The Hoops come into the game on the back of a frustrating draw at the weekend, however, where they were held to a 0-0 stalemate by struggling Livingston despite having 85% of the possession, with Giorgos Giakoumakis missing an injury-time penalty after Ayo Obileye had been sent off for lashing out at Furuhashi.
The Greek striker also missed an even later chance, scuffing wide with the goal gaping, which allowed rivals Rangers to extend their lead at the top, after Celtic had previously closed the gap with four consecutive victories