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Ange Postecoglou urges Celtic to ‘take the game’ to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League :

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Ange Postecoglou has challenged his Celtic players to approach Bayer Leverkusen without fear when the sides meet in the Europa League on Thursday.

Celtic travel to Germany having boosted their hopes of reaching the Europa League knockout stages with victories in their previous two matches, both against Ferencvaros (2-0, 3-2).

Postecoglou is conscious of the challenge ahead against unbeaten Leverkusen, but hinted he has no intention of playing conservatively – even if that could ultimately prove to be to Celtic’s detriment.

Postecoglou feels he will learn more about his side if they attack Leverkusen, rather than sitting back and playing not to lose

“We’ll only learn from the game if we play our football. You’ll learn absolutely nothing if you go out there and shy away from it,” said Postecoglou, whose side lost 4-0 at home in the reverse fixture.

“We can go and be conservative, try and hold on, try and survive, but if we do that we’ll learn nothing. All you learn is that you’re inferior and you don’t believe you can be any better.

“The only way we’ll learn anything in this game is if we go out there and take the game to them. That may be a painful lesson for us all but ultimately it’s a better way for us to find out.

“It may not be a painful lesson, it may show that we’re making a hell of a lot of progress. I’d rather go there and find out about ourselves than just go there and try to survive.”

SNS - Tom Rogic
Tom Rogic will be among the Celtic absentees again on Thursday

Celtic have no fresh injury concerns following Saturday’s League Cup semi-final win over St Johnstone.

However, Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt – while close to returns – will not feature on Thursday, and Giorgos Giakoumakis continues to deal with a knee issue.

Celtic trail second-placed Real Betis by a point with two matches to play and are four points behind group leaders Leverkusen.

Should they eventually finish third, however, they are already assured of progression into the next stage of the Europa Conference League.

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