Barry Ferguson backs old rivals Celtic to beat Zenit in Europa League

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It was his best chance of trying to convince Rodgers to include him in Celtic's starting line-up against Zenit St Petersburg in Friday's (AEDT) Europa League clash.

"Manchester City were virtually at the beginning of their journey there".

He was quoted by the Daily Record as saying on Wednesday: "Maybe Branislav can play or go on the bench or play. We will decide tomorrow". We calculated everything because it's an important game.

Having dropped out of the Champions League, where they came up against Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht, Celtic now welcome to Glasgow a Russian side whose resources dwarf those available to the Scottish Premiership leaders.

But Mancini is refusing to look too closely at those painful results against two of Europe's biggest superpowers.

"You are trying to map out with the players, as often as you can, that you have to be concentrated in every single game you play, but sometimes we give away soft goals purely on concentration level, nothing else", Rodgers said.

Both teams have had their share of the injury problems, however, Celtic are suffering far worse with a number of defensive injuries, while goalkeeper Craig Gordon and front man Leigh Griffiths are also sidelined. The supporters always push the team.

However, Ferguson believes that if the Hoops can keep it tight at the back at Celtic Park in the opening stages of the game without conceding, they have a real chance of going on to record a decent win.

"They were the top scorers in the Europa League with 17 goals in six games, so they're scoring almost three goals a game and conceding less than one on average".