Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers insists his side is relishing rather than fearing the chance to take on Atletico Madrid in Champions League action.
The La Liga outfit registered their fifth win in a row by easing past struggling Celta Vigo in Galicia on Saturday courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann hattrick – taking the French forward to eight strikes in ten games this campaign.
Valencia are the only team to have taken maximum points against Diego Simeone’s side so far this season, but Rodgers is determined his players can raise their level and compete on the European stage when they arrive at Parkhead on Wednesday.
“We’re playing a club that is one of the best in the world,” he said after Sunday’s win over Hearts.
“We want to be able to take on the best teams in the world, we don’t have to be the best but we want to be able to take them on.”
The 4-1 victory at Tynecastle preserved Celtic’s seven-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership, despite Rangers putting four past Hibernian on Saturday.
Bar a goalless draw at home to St Johnstone in August, the league leaders have taken maximum points in their league outings so far.
It is a different story in Europe however, with defeats to Lazio and Feyenoord leaving them at the bottom of group E with just a single home game remaining after the visit of Atleti this week.
Rodgers rued his side’s luck in previous matches, with the concession of a late winner at home to the Italians and two red cards in Rotterdam extending the long wait for a group stage win in the competition.
But he believes his players will be up for the challenge and can upset the odds to register their first points of the European campaign.
“The players will go into it with great confidence,” he said.
“It will be an amazing atmosphere, a game where we start with the energy and quality, we’ll devise a plan over these next few days.
“I think the players have been unfortunate we haven’t picked up something. Even considering in the last game with nine men, its hugely frustrating.
“But it is a good chance to play against a good team and get some points on the board.”
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