Commons looking to stun Benfica early

PA Sport
Kris Commons wants Benfica to experience the noise of Parkhead on a European night

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Kris Commons wants Benfica to experience the noise of Parkhead on a European night

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons is looking to blitz Benfica with a storming start in their Champions League Group G opener at Parkhead.

The Hoops have reached this stage of Europe's elite club competition for the first time in four years and the landscape, it is widely believed, has become even more technical, methodical and cerebral in that intervening period. However, Commons is looking for a blood-and-thunder start to the match that has often characterised big nights at Celtic Park.

"I always like it at 100 miles per hour from the first whistle. That's just me," he said.

"When the players come out to the music and everyone is at that peak, the fans are itching for you to get that early goal and that's how I like it to be. I like to let the other team know they are in for a game in the first 10, 15 minutes.

"I like them to know this is the maximum noise, this is how we play, this is how we are going to pressure you or this is how we are going to settle, and let them know that they are not in for an easy night and see where the game takes us. Certainly we can't have 100 miles per hour for 90 minutes, or we wouldn't last.

"But we are looking to stamp our authority on the game early doors, there is nothing like playing at home in the first game to try to give yourself the chance to get points. If it is three points then magic, but if not we will be looking to get one and try to get the ball rolling.

"But it will be tough and every single player in our team will have to play at the top of their game for 93, 94 minutes."

Celtic's section also includes Barcelona and Spartak Moscow but Commons does not believe the difficulty of the task that lies ahead means the pressure to succeed is any less.

"We are not there to make up the numbers and let teams beat us willy nilly," said the former Derby and Nottingham Forest player, one of Celtic's best performers in the early part of the season.

"We are looking to win every single game and that probably includes Barcelona away. We've got to aim high and give a good account of ourselves. We will be going out to win the game but we know it will be a tough game, and against a team probably like no opposition that we have met this year."

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