McGeady's positive audition for starting role on European stage

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The Independent Online

The Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady is hoping his manager, Gordon Strachan, will be in a positive mode when he picks his starting XI for tomorrow's Champions League tie against Benfica. McGeady was in sparkling form against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday as the SPL champions retained their three-point lead over Rangers at the top of table with a 2-1 win.

The Republic of Ireland international has been sacrificed for defensive players on the European stage this season. After losing 1-0 in Lisbon in their last European outing last month, Celtic need a win to move from the bottom of Group D at Parkhead.

McGeady said: "Obviously, you want to start because it's a massive game for the club. It really is a must-win game. I think I have a good chance of starting but, obviously, the manager might change things around and be more defensive. But I'm really looking forward to it and, hopefully, we can take the form we showed against Kilmarnock into the game against Benfica."

Celtic showed both sides of their character at Rugby Park. Scott McDonald took his seasonal tally to 13 goals with a first-half double which looked to have secured the points for the visitors.

But after a half-time rollicking from their manager, Jim Jefferies, Killie came out fired up for the second half. The Ayrshire side were back in the game 10 minutes after the break when Frazer Wright headed home a Locke free-kick.

Rangers beat Inverness 2-0 with goals from Kris Boyd in the first minute and Carlos Cuellar after the break, setting them up for Wednesday night's Champions League match against Barcelona.

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