Neil Lennon is confident Celtic have the qualities to “hurt” Cluj as they look to move a step closer to reaching the Champions League group stage. James Forrest’s first-half equaliser earned Celtic a 1-1 draw during the first-leg of their third-qualifying round tie last week and that makes the Bhoys the favourites to progress at Parkhead on Tuesday night.
Celtic have started the season in fine form, scoring 12 goals from their opening two Scottish Premiership games against St Johnstone and Motherwell as well as comfortably emerged through their opening two rounds of European qualifying.
However, Lennon is expecting Celtic’s biggest test of the season to come on Tuesday night, as he knows Cluj have a number of qualities, but he also feels his side have enough in their own artillery to overcome the Romanian champions.
“They are a big, strong team, they have good pace in certain areas and they are direct,” Lennon told reporters. “They are a threat at set-plays. I don’t think it’s going to be over-physical, it wasn’t in Romania. “There was plenty in the game in the first leg to suggest we could hurt Cluj in certain areas, so that’s what we will be trying to do.”
Celtic are priced at 1.53 to win Tuesday’s match, while Cluj are available at 6.50 and the draw is on offer at 4.00. Whichever team does emerge from the tie victorious will move into the playoff round, where they will take on Czech champions Slavia Prague for a place in the group stage.