Seeking to turn around a two-goal deficit, Celtic will travel to Norway to face Bodo/Glimt for the second leg of their Europa Conference League playoff tie on Thursday night.
The hosts won 3-1 at Parkhead last week and will be looking to reach the last 16 in European competition for the first time for over 40 years.
After 66 days without competitive football, following the conclusion of the 2021 Norwegian top-flight season in mid-December, Bodo/Glimt showed no signs of rustiness against Celtic as they recorded a famous victory in Glasgow last week.
Runar Espejord opened the scoring in the sixth minute before Amahl Pellegrino and Hugo Vetlesen found the net either side of a header from Celtic’s Daizen Maeda to maintain their unbeaten run in this year’s competition.
Bodo/Glimt are now one step closer to reaching the last 16 in European competition for just the second time in their history, last doing so back in the 1978-79 Cup Winners’ Cup when they lost 7-1 on aggregate to Inter Milan.
The Norwegian champions are now preparing to host a British team in Europe for the very first time at the Aspmyra Stadion, where they boast a 100% record from their six Europa Conference League games this season, including qualifiers.
Head coach Kjetil Knutsen, who had been linked with the Aberdeen vacancy, will be hoping his side can deliver once again and create history in front of their own supporters.
Celtic’s Georgios Giakoumakis celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 20, 2022© Reuters
For the first time since November 25, Celtic tasted defeat when they were beaten by Bodo/Glimt in the first leg, ending a 17-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
Ange Postecoglou praised the Norwegian outfit after the game and despite expressing his disappointment for his own team’s performance, the Australian believes there is still an opportunity for the Hoops to turn the tie around and reach the last 16.
The Hoops do, however, face an uphill battle to remain in Europe after being eliminated from their last eight major European knockout ties after losing the first leg.
Since last week’s defeat, Celtic have moved three points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, after winning 3-2 at home against Dundee, courtesy of a Giorgos Giakoumakis hat-trick which included an 86th-minute winner.
Celtic have now scored 101 goals across all competitions this season, including 60 strikes in the league, four more than Rangers and at least 22 more than any other team in the division.
The Hoops will need to score at least three goals if they are to beat Bodo/Glimt on aggregate in midweek as they aim reach the last 16 of a European competition for the first time since 2012-13.