Chris Sutton adamant Celtic can qualify from Champions League group despite injuries and ‘underwhelming’ transfer window
The bullish former Hoops striker is confident his old club CAN qualify for the last-16.
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Chris Sutton insists Celtic have a good chance of reaching the Champions League knockout phase despite their recent injury troubles and “underwhelming” summer transfer window.
The Hoops were drawn against Dutch side Feyenoord, La Liga giants Atletico Madrid and Serie A big guns Lazio last month and Brendan Rodgers’ side head into their first group stage fixture in Rotterdam on Tuesday following a convincing 3-0 Premiership win over Dundee.
Sky Sports pundit and former Parkhead striker Sutton is aware that Celtic are without a number of key players, particularly in defence. However, he admits his old club can’t enter Europe’s elite competition fearing the worst.
A bullish Sutton knows Celtic will have their work cut out to qualify for the last-16 but claims there are no world-beaters in their group, having avoided the likes of Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Writing in his Daily Record column, he said: “Of course there are issues in this Celtic squad. Brendan Rodgers would have wanted his best squad to give him a better chance and Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada and Maik Nawrocki are huge losses.
“They can’t moan about it or go in fearing the worst though. Those are the kinds of weaknesses that will be exposed at this level. It might sound strange on the back of an underwhelming transfer window and the injury problems, but I believe Celtic can make an impact. I genuinely think they can get out of this group.
“Look, no one is saying this is some kind of gentle section. That would be daft. Atletico Madrid, Lazio and Feyenoord are all top sides, who have the ability to hurt any team on their day. Celtic will have their work cut out in all of the game. But it could have been so much worse.
“Are any of these sides going to win the Champions League? I doubt it. It’s not like Celtic have pulled Man City, PSG, Barcelona or Real madrid out of the top two pots and left with a scramble for third the best they can aim for. No, they should be thinking the top two spots are up for grabs.”