Celtic face Real Madrid in glamour Champions League opening game

Carlo Ancelotti and his players take on the Scottish champions at a sold-out Celtic Park.

Celtic face Real Madrid in glamour Champions League opening game SNS Group

Celtic face European champions Real Madrid in the opening game of their Champions League campaign.

The Spanish giants won the elite competition for a record 14th time last season when they beat Liverpool in the final. Now they begin the new campaign in Glasgow against Ange Postecoglou’s side in front of a sell-out crowd at Celtic Park.

Celtic are the bottom seeds in their group, which also includes Shakhtar Donetsk and RB Leipzig, and are underdogs in the match against European royalty. But Postecoglou’s side will take heart from a strong start to the season and hope they can the Spanish superstars some problems.

The Scottish champions have followed last season’s title success with an almost flawless start to domestic competition. Six league games have brought six wins, 24 goals scored and only one created.

The hosts warmed up for Real with a comprehensive 4-0 defeat of Rangers on Saturday lunchtime and Postecoglou has insisted his side will stick to their attacking principles against La Liga’s finest.

“There’s no point playing football a certain way and then, when you get the opportunity to measure it against the best, you shy away from it,” the Celtic manager said ahead of the game.

“You could go out there tomorrow and limit the damage and might get a win playing a different way, but have you really tested yourself? I don’t think you have.

“If we’re short of where we need to be then we go back, dust ourselves off, work at it again and get a bit closer next time.”

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has won almost all there is to win in club football – but is without a victory in three visits to Celtic Park when he was Milan manager.

He says his team are prepared for Celtic to come at them and is anticipating a “difficult” game.

“We are not worried to defend because we defend well and we have defended really well in the past,” he said.

“One of the key points of the triumph last season was to defend well sometimes.

“A team has to be able to defend well and that is what we would like to do on Tuesday.

“It’s obviously going to be a difficult game. They are a lot like us – they have a good dynamic at the moment. They play with a lot of intensity but we are prepared.

“We are ready for it and hopefully we get a victory in our first game.”

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