This blog is a one man show, not too dissimilar to Solid Snake’s infiltration of Shadow Moses Island. A solo mission, every week.
However, ahead of tonight’s game, I have teamed up with SB Nation site The AC Milan Øffside to get their thoughts on the match.
Q: Did you feel confident about your chances in the group when the draw was initially made?
A: Starting from about 7 years ago and up until now, Milan haven’t really been a squad to be confident about. This has all changed under the new regime and with Pioli at the helm and Ibra up top. That being said, we have confidence given our recent form, but not without healthy skepticism as well. Celtic and Lille are no pushovers, and Sparta Prague is in 1st within the Czech League. This is the true Europa group of death.
Q: How do you feel now, on the back of a strong domestic campaign so far ?
A: It’s hard not to love what we’ve seen so far. We lost Ibra to COVID and we’re without our best CB in Romagnoli to start the season and still grabbed 3 wins from 3. Then upon their return, we won our first league Derby della Madonnina since 2016. I love what I’ve seen, and I’m hoping it’s the start of our first time back to the CL in quite some time now.
Q: Any worries going into tomorrow’s game from your end?
A: It looks like we’ve lost our best playmaker in Hakan Calhanoglu for a short period of time and Milan haven’t always looked creative without him. We’ll have Brahim Diaz to take his place so it’ll be interesting to see, but ultimately when it comes to European competition no game is easy no matter who you play. Rio Ave almost made it so you’d be playing them tomorrow instead of us, and they’re sitting 15th in the Portuguese league.
Q: Which players will be your potential matchwinners ?
A: It’d be criminal not to mention Ibra so to change the pace a bit keep an eye on Rafael Leão. He’s played well when called upon outside of some glaring moments and he’s got the breakneck speed and skill to send opponents the wrong way on his way to the goal.
Q: What’s the view of Celtic at the moment, from Italy ?
A: Historically, Celtic are a legendary club and every Milan fan knows that from the host of head to heads with both sides over the years. The games have generally been closely fought with Celtic. Everyone also knows despite a tough loss in the Old Firm derby, Celtic are only going to use it to fuel the fire ahead of this game. I don’t think a single Milan fan has the notion “this is an easy game” because frankly it’s not. Not by a long shot.
Q: You didn’t happen to see us on Saturday did you ?
A: I had the chance to watch a replay of the game. A possession based game pulls players out of position and allows runners to attack that space, and Celtic for their part did have the better share of possession without creating the chances I’d expect to see. Sure maybe the shooting boots weren’t on that day, but that doesn’t happen every game. It happens, but it won’t be that Celtic we’ll play in Glasgow.
Q: What do you reckon the score will be ? Give us a shoot prediction!
A: I’m going to take Milan leaving Scotland with a one nil win. I expect a hard fought, tooth and nail match because no team wants to lose the opener. I’ll give a goal to my match winner Leão
Hopefully you’re wrong about that lads, but thank you for taking the time to do the Q&A with a true big dog of the Celtic Fanbase.