Rosenborg v Celtic: Brendan Rodgers feels first-leg clean sheet could be crucial

Bet365

Brendan Rodgers feels the clean sheet Celtic take into their Champions League qualifier at Rosenborg on Wednesday night could prove crucial to their chances of progressing in the tournament.

Norwegian league leaders Rosenborg, who are 17 games into their domestic season, were good value for their 0-0 draw in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie at Celtic Park last week.

Rosenborg are arguably in pole position ahead of the return game at the Lerkendal Stadion, despite their lack of an away goal, but Hoops boss Rodgers remains upbeat.\
“We kept a clean sheet and home or away in the second leg, that is important,” said Rodgers.

“I said before the game last week that it wouldn’t be won in that game. There is still another game to play, in Rosenborg. We expected another tough game tonight.

“We know we can score the goals that we need to qualify but we respect Rosenborg as a team halfway through their season.
“They have good quality and they will be a really tough opponent for us.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers has voiced his frustration that the champions of Scotland have to go through two qualifying rounds and a play-off round to make the group stages of the Champions League.

“I don’t believe the team that wins the league should be in the qualification phase, it never used to be the case,” he added.
“But of course finance and money changes the game and that means countries and clubs like ourselves, one of the biggest, iconic clubs in the world, are having to go through six games in order to qualify.

“But it is what we have to do. I first got the experience of it last year and it wasn’t easy and it will be exactly the same this time.

“It gets tougher next year and we have to live with that and do our very best to qualify.
“But we want the problem. If that’s what it takes for a club like ourselves to qualify, then we have to do that, so we can’t complain.”

Rodgers, without a recognised striker to call on in the opening leg, is boosted by the return of Leigh Griffiths after a calf injury, while defender Erik Sviatchenko is also back in contention after recovering from a groin problem.Euro Soccer Bonus

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