Champions League - Celtic v AC Milan: Neil Lennon wary of threat to Celtic from 'wounded animal' of Milan


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The Independent Football

Neil Lennon has insisted there is no chance of Celtic underestimating the threat of Milan despite the Italians’ dreadful form going into the Champions League tie.

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Tonight’s game at Parkhead will be the biggest European game of Celtic’s season but the visitors arrive on the back of poor league form, which has seen them fail to win their last five matches and slip down to 13th place in Serie A.

The run of results has seen pressure mount on coach Massimiliano Allegri but Lennon does not believe it is necessarily the ideal time to play the Rossoneri as Celtic aim to keep their own last-16 hopes alive.

The Hoops manager said: “They could be a wounded animal and that’s always a dangerous proposition no matter who you face.

“They’ll have their pride. They have some world-class players, players who are class acts and who have been at the top level of the game for a period of time.

“If anyone thinks that we are underestimating them and think it’s a really good time and think it’s going to be a comfortable home win, they’ll have to think again. This team is dangerous.”

He added: “They might have to prove a point to their own supporters, I don’t know. I don’t think they’ve got anything to prove to anyone else around the world, who think they are a top-class team.

“They’ve beaten us, they’ve drawn with Barca, they’ve drawn away in Amsterdam, so their results in the group have been solid. They know if they win, they’ve got a great chance of going through themselves.

“Maybe that will be the springboard for them to improve domestically but that’s not my concern.

“My whole focus at the minute is on how we play and getting the great support that we always get here. It should be another great night.”

The Scottish champions sit bottom of Group H but a win over Milan – combined with Barcelona denying Ajax victory – would see them move into second spot.

Lennon said: “It’s a game we have to win to have any chance of qualifying. It’s a great game for the players to be involved in. We have performed very well in the group, apart from the first half in Amsterdam, so I want that to continue.”