Tonight is a straightforward game. It is the sort the club across the city would win as a matter of routine, based on their European form. I mention that because they have inferior resources to us and in case anyone is in the slightest doubt that I regard Sparta Prague as a team at our level.
At Celtic Park they fully justified their manager’s contempt for us, but we all know full well which club is bigger and which one should be winning these games.
The result at Parkhead was a disgrace. The performance at Parkhead was a disgrace.
That they came to our ground with a B side and comprehensively done us offers no alibi whatsoever for us losing tonight, on their ground, with their best team on the pitch.
Teams like this should not be in our way, it’s as simple as that. There are no excuses for failure.
I never believed we should take this competition seriously, but the moment the manager decided to the die was cast.
He seemed to throw in the towel after the game at Celtic Park but has since said that we can still qualify from the Group, which seems unlikely at best.
Still, he’s accepted that these games are important and he’s gone with a strong team.
So like I said, there are absolutely no excuses.
One up front, Edouard in from the start, Elhamed at right back and Jullien is back– and he cannot possibly be fully fit, making a mockery of Lennon’s excuse after Ferencvaros for why he didn’t field a striker that night.
Christie plays. Brown plays. McGregor plays. All are dying on their feet under this avalanche of games. Lennon refuses to rest any of them. Instead it’s Ntcham in for Rogic.
Will it work? We’ll find out, but there’s no tactical shift that we can see putting Jullien back in when he isn’t match-sharp will either vindicate Lennon tonight and make his Ferencvaros comments seem all the more ludicrous or he’ll justify them and have to answer questions about why he took such a mad risk tonight.
There’s no consistency to this guy at all.
But he needs a win tonight. We all need a win tonight. Nothing less will do.
Bain; ElHamed, Jullien, Ajer, Laxalt, Brown, McGregor, Christie, Ntcham, Elyounoussi, Edouard
Subs: Barkas, Hazard, Taylor, Bitton, Duffy, Ajeti, Klimala, Rogic, Henderson, Frimpong,