Celtic-Real Madrid: Kyogo is fit while Ange Postecoglou has vowed to play up front

Kyogo Furuhashi has recovered from a shoulder injury that forced him out against Rangers
place: Celtic Park, Glasgow DateTuesday 6 September Starting: 20:00 GMT
coverage: Listen to commentary on BBC Radio Scotland Extra and BBC Radio 5 live on the BBC Sport website and app

Striker Kyogo Furuhashi is ready to face Real Madrid in the opening match of the Champions League, coach Ange Postecoglou said.

The Japan striker scored six goals in five matches before coming off three minutes after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Rangers.

However, center back Karl Starvelt will miss the Group F meeting with the defending champions at Celtic Park.

“He trained this morning and looked fine,” Postecoglou said of Kyogo.

“He’s available. I’m making the decision whether he’s going to play or not, but in terms of training and doing everything in training, he was fine.

“On the weekend, Karl Starvelt hurt his knee. We don’t have an accurate diagnosis, but nothing too serious, but it will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks.”

Celtic started the domestic season with seven wins out of seven in all competitions, scoring 29 goals and conceding only two.

Postecoglou’s team disintegrated against Rangers at the weekend, but faced the Champions League champions last season, who started his career in the Spanish League with four wins out of four.

Despite the move, the Celtic boss maintains that his team will aim to play up front.

“There is no point in playing football a certain way and then, when you have the opportunity to measure it against the best, you are ashamed of it,” the Australian said.

“You can go out there tomorrow and limit the damage and you might get a win in a different way, but have you really tested yourself? I don’t think you did.

“We’re going there tomorrow night for being the football team we’ve come to so far. Then you have a real measure of where you are now.

“If we’re short on where we want to be, we’ll go back, dust ourselves off, work on it again and get a little closer next time.”

What did they say

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Reilly: “We don’t change the way we play, regardless of the opponent. We may have to adjust the little things in terms of how much we are pressing because of the quality of the opponent.

“But, overall, the way we go about it will be the same. We approach Ross County the same way we do this game. It takes courage no matter who you play against.

“There will always be fears sometimes because we often take risks. Against that kind of opposition, we have to be at our best.”

Team news

Starfelt is the only player missing from the Celtic squad that defeated Rangers at the weekend, with Postecoglou having a team fully prepared to choose from.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti traveled with the same 22 players who participated in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Real Betis in La Liga.

This means that defenders Jesus Vallejo, the former Wolverhampton player on loan, and Alvaro Odriozola miss the match again after returning from injury.

Choose Start XI. It’s up to you how you deal with it – you can choose which team you want the manager to pick or who you think will do it.

Match stats

  • The two teams met only once in a competitive match, and Real Madrid won the 1979-80 European Cup quarter-final 3-2 on aggregate despite losing the first leg 2-0.
  • Celtic have lost eight of their last 10 Champions League games against a Spanish opponent (he won the other two), including each of their last four – all against Barcelona from 2013 to 2016.
  • It would be Real’s first European meeting with a Scottish club since the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup final, which they lost to Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen 2-1 after extra time.
  • The defending champions have only been eliminated from the group stage in one of the past 28 seasons, with Chelsea exiting in 2012-13. Only one of the last 27 champions lost their first game the following season (16 of them won), with Liverpool winning 2-0 away to Napoli in 2019-20.
  • Celtic qualified for the first time since 2017-18, under Brendan Rodgers. They have been eliminated from the group stage in their last three attempts (2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18), and last progressed in 2012-13.
  • Real Madrid are competing in the 27th European Champions League, a joint record with Barcelona, ​​including the 26th consecutive season, the longest running streak of any team. They advanced from all 30 stages of the group.
  • Celtic have not won their first game of the season in the Champions League in 10 previous attempts (lost eight times); Only RSC Anderlecht (12) participated in more copies of the tournament without winning the opening match.
  • Ange Postecoglou will become the first Australian to win the Champions League. Overall, he is the fifth coach to take charge of Celtic in the tournament, after Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan, Neil Lennon and Brendan Rodgers.
  • This will be Carlo Ancelotti’s 19th season as Champions League coach. His team qualified from the group stage in 15 of its last 16 editions, only losing with Napoli in 2018-2019.
  • Ancelotti faced Celtic six times in the competition, all as Milan coach from 2004 to 2007, losing only once and winning three times.
  • Karim Benzema, Real Madrid’s player, scored 15 goals in the Champions League last season. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has ever scored more in a single season (17 in 2013-14, 16 in 2015-16). The Frenchman is tied with Robert Lewandowski with 86 goals in the competition, and shares the third place all-time behind Cristiano Ronaldo (140) and Lionel Messi (125).