Celtic will be hoping they can finally get their season up and running when they face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday at 8pm (UK time).
Ange Postecoglou has not had the best start to life in Glasgow and is chasing his first Europa League win with the club, while Leverkusen won their opening group game.
How to live stream Celtic vs Bayer Leverkusen online:
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Where to watch Celtic vs Bayer Leverkusen on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 3
- US: Paramount+
Scoreline prediction: Celtic 0-2 Bayer Leverkusen
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Celtic vs Bayer Leverkusen build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
After the disaster that was 2020/21, Postecoglou was brought in to turn things around at Celtic but the former Australia manager has not had the best of times. After seven games in the Scottish Premiership, Celtic currently sit sixth with three defeats from their opening seven games including the first Old Firm Derby of the season. Celtic go into this week’s Europa League clash with just one win from their past four games, having lost 4-3 to Real Betis in their group opener before a defeat to Livingston in the league and draw against Dundee United at the weekend. The only victory during that time came in a 3-0 win over Raith Rovers in the League Cup, but it is not enough to spare Postecoglou from the criticism.
It’s not a good time, then, for the Scottish side to welcome high-flying Bayer Leverkusen to Celtic Park. Unlike Postecoglou, Gerardo Seoane has had an excellent start to life at Leverkusen, with the club currently second in the Bundesliga and just three points behind Bayern Munich. They have lost just one league game so far, beaten 4-3 by Borussia Dortmund in a thrilling encounter just after the international break, but they have followed that up with three consecutive wins across all competitions. Ferencvaros, Stuttgart and Mainz have all fallen, with Leverkusen looking to end the month on a high and put themselves in a good position for the remainder of the Europa League group stage.
- Celtic (vs Dundee United): Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Juranovic*; Turnbull, McCarthy*, Rogic; Abada, Ajeti, Jota.
- Bayer Leverkusen (vs Mainz): Hradecky; Frimpong, Kossounou, Tah, Bakker; Demirbay, Aranguiz; Bellarabi, Wirtz, Diaby; Schick.
Celtic are expected to be without Josip Juranovic and James McCarthy for the visit of Leverkusen, with Christopher Jullien, James Forrest and Greg Taylor all doubts. Edmond Tapsoba, Exequiel Palacios, Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Julian Baumgartlinger remain out for Leverkusen.
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Player to watch: Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Leverkusen have been feisty in front of goal so far this season, scoring 21 goals in eight games across all competitions including 16 in the Bundesliga. Despite having Patrik Schick leading the line after his fine summer at Euro 2020, it is Florian Wirtz who currently heads up the standings of Leverkusen’s top scorer.
The 18-year-old has scored five goals in six appearances across all competitions so far, one more than Schick has managed in eight matches. But what makes Wirtz’s record even more remarkable is that his five goals have come in just 373 minutes, averaging 1.21 per 90 minutes. Wirtz has also scored in each of his past five appearances across all competitions, only failing to find the net this season in his first game, a 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in which he played just nine minutes (but even then he recorded an assist).
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