Jeff J Mitchell
Celtic may not have the Old Firm matches, but they get a visit from Juventus in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Celtic lost the Old Firm matches when Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier of Scottish football after going bankrupt, leaving the Hoops without any major matches. After all, the rest of the Scottish Premier League wasn't going to challenge them. The result has been seasons easier than a cake walk, at least domestically. European football hasn't been nearly as kind to them, but far more rewarding.
Nothing will be more rewarding for Celtic than welcoming Juventus to Celtic Park on Tuesday.
The Hoops are into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in five years and with it comes a visit from the reigning Serie A champions in the first leg of the round of 16. That is good new for Celtic is they will not be alone. They will have 60,000 of their closest Celtic Park friends with them too.
Celtic will need all they help they can get, even if Juventus have not been at their best of late and are injured. Giorgio Chiellini is out and Kwadwo Asamoah's status is in the air, meaning the left side is a major question mark for the Old Lady. Even so, Juventus have Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Sebastian Giovinco through the middle, making them favorites to at least get a draw and send themselves back home for the second leg in a fine position.
Then again, Barcelona were favorites, too, in the group stage. They were much bigger favorites than Juventus. But Celtic's 60,000 friends did them well and earned them a shocking win. If that happens again, the Old Lady will be in trouble heading back to Turin.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, February 12; 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
TV: Fox Soccer Channel (USA English), ITV (UK)
Streaming: Fox Soccer 2Go