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Watch Brendan Rodgers full Feyenoord pre-match media conference

Brendan Rodgers takes something of a step into the unknown tomorrow night when he samples Champions League group stage football for the first time in six years.

A 1-0 home defeat from Anderlecht in December 2017 allowed Celtic to hang onto a Europa League spot from a group that also contained Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain.

AEK Athens closed the door in a Third Round qualifier during turbulent times for the Irishman before Ange Postecoglou bulldozed the club back into the elite competition last season with some bold performances but only two points.

Without Jota, Liel Abada and Cameron Carter-Vickers it is difficult to come to any conclusion other than this being a weaker Celtic squad but the art of management involves making the most of your resources to produce the unexpected.

Rodgers certainly achieved that at Ibrox just over two weeks ago but Feyenoord are a far more accomplished side with a proper manager unlike the job-lot of players put together by Micky Beale and weighed down by outrageous expectations.

It is six years since the Champions League visited Rotterdam but over the last two seasons Feyenoord have gained valuable European experience, finishing as Conference League runners-up in 2022 then reaching the last eight of last season’s Europa League. A 7-1 home win over Shakhtar Donetsk stands out from March of this year.

Rodgers has had just six competitive matches to work on putting his stamp on the Celtic side with two matches played since the transfer window closed.

Without Carter-Vickers and Jota there are big gaps to be filled in the side with those two players among those that fared best in last season’s Champions League.

If a midfield trio of Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley can hit their best form, perhaps bolstered by David Turnbull or Odin Thiago Holm Celtic could get a hold on the match but Feyenoord will view the visit of the SPFL champions as their best hope of picking up three points.

Last season an inexperienced squad was dished out some brutal lessons against good quality but other than Real Madrid non elite level opponents.

By 10pm on Tuesday night Rodgers will discover what lessons were learned with just a two week turnaround till Lazio drop in again on Celtic Park for Matchday 2.

7 minutes

You’re talking over the last 20 odd years or so the game has evolved so much and the challenges are there to see. You see the levels of teams, you see the levels of players. For us what we can promise is that we’ll fight in every single game.

We want to compete, we want to be competitive and that is all I can promise. I can promise no more than that. If we can produce that level of work ethic and the quality that we do have, then I think we can cause teams problems. That will be our aim.

We know there’s times we’re going to be under pressure, especially away from home. We want to give Feyenoord a problem when we have the ball as well.

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