Inter Milan visit revives memories of Celtic`s night of glory
Memories of the greatest moment in Celtic`s history will be evoked when they host Inter Milan in the first leg of their last 32 Europa League tie on Thursday.
Lisbon: Memories of the greatest moment in Celtic`s history will be evoked when they host Inter Milan in the first leg of their last 32 Europa League tie on Thursday.
The Italian giants were the opponents when Jock Stein`s Celtic side claimed the European Cup with a 2-1 victory in Lisbon in May 1967.
Sandro Mazzola fired the Italians ahead but goals from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers ensured Celtic became the first British side to win the top trophy in the European club game.
They also met in the 1972 European Cup semi-final, the last competitive match between the two sides when Inter progressed on penalties to the final, which they lost 2-0 to a Johan Cruyff-inspired Ajax side.
Inter went on to claim the trophy in 2010 under Jose Mourinho but their present day form hasn`t been as impressive.
The Italians, who made the last 32 after topping Group F, travel to Glasgow sitting in 10th place in Serie A after a poor start to the season under former manager Walter Mazzarri before he was replaced by Roberto Mancini.
In comparison, Celtic are on track for a domestic treble and top the Scottish Premiership following a run of eight straight victories in 2015.
The match is a chance for Celtic manager Ronny Deila to redeem himself after he suffered disappointment in his early months at the club, with a 6-1 aggregate defeat by Legia Warsaw in Champions League qualifying.
The Poles` selection of a suspended player meant Celtic were reinstated, but they subsequently lost in the Champions League play-off round to Maribor.
However, Inter will visit Celtic Park with renewed confidence following victories over Palermo and Atalanta and Celtic assistant manager John Collins is wary of the danger Mancini`s side will pose.
"We`ll be tested. If we make mistakes or we`re not compact, then they will punish us. That doesn`t always happen in the Premiership," Collins said.
"Against Inter Milan, if we switch off, there is every chance they will score.
"We are playing well and with confidence.
"At the same time, we know we are up against a very good team, a team that is maybe hitting form.
"In the last couple of games, they have scored three and four, so it looks like the manager is getting his ideas across to his players, but we`re in a good place.
"We know we are not playing against another Premiership team. We are playing against a team that is full of internationals, that has had money spent on it and has a hugely experienced manager who has won things at the top level.
"It`s going to be a challenge for us. To qualify, we are going to have to play very well in both games.
"We know how Italians play - they will be very well organised defensively, technically they are good and they are very dangerous at set pieces.
"I think one in three of their goals are scored at set pieces, so we`re going to have to be on our toes."
Argentine striker Mauro Icardi could return to Inter`s starting line-up after recovering from a bout of sickness.
It could mean a straight swap for Lukas Podolski, who started against Atalanta, as the on-loan Arsenal forward is ineligible for the Europa League.
Celtic could welcome back James Forrest who missed out in Saturday`s win over St Johnstone but Charlie Mulgrew and Mikel Lustig will not feature and Kris Commons is rated doubtful.