After crossing all national competitions apart last season Brendan Rodgers’ side again have ambitions of making their mark in Europe. They take on the Kazakhstan champions with a ticket for the group stages and a 30m windfall at stake, in the opening leg of the final qualifier.
He explained: “It makes or breaks our season if we reach the Champions League.
“Last year it set up us on an excellent platform. We knew it was a group after two years was massive for everyone 26, but with Champions League soccer back in Celtic Park.
If we could get back in the group it will put everyone on a real high. The lovers will be shouting from the rooftops and it’ll make the start we have made to the season worthwhile.”
Victory over Rosenborg from the last round ensured that Rodgers’ treble winners will be playing in European fittings until December at worst.
“I do not think about losing,” he said. “We as a club do not think about losing. I consider the Champions League group stages. I really don’t think about the Europa League.”
Celtic head to the first leg promoted by having confronted Astana at the third qualifying round this past year.
“The design has not changed so much. It’s plenty of the players, the coach and the game where they perform is direct. They play until the striker who has mobility to get a striker that is large and has great technique. Then they play the player Patrick Twumasi who’s extremely fast on the attack off. So that type of this game is the same. sbobet casino
“However, the European matches we had last year helped us gain a resilience. It was interesting watching last season’s qualifiers back and in relation to how we played with the game, what our notion of soccer was, it was nowhere near what it currently is.
It is not a pc game although we are missing some key players. It is not Football Manager where, in case you lose one, you can pick on one straight and put him in.
“It is far more challenging than that — but I’ve always put trust in the players I have.” With the Frenchman out injured, the responsibility for shooting Celtic through now falls directly on Griffiths’ shoulders.
However, the Scotland striker reckons there is sufficient firepower from the Parkhead dressing room to make that unnecessary.
“You’ve got Moussa and me but when we are both injured it is obviously difficult sometimes,” he said. “But when we are fully fit I would not have any other two strikes in the league to be fair.
“I do not think there is any additional pressure on me right now [being the only fit striker]. I revealed last year when Moussa was match I was the man get the goals to fire us and to visit.
“Yeah if Moussa was match it would be a large help to us but with the caliber we’ve obtained in the dressing room we are more than capable of getting through the two ties.”.