Champions League - Lennon ready for "pivotal" clash

Manager Neil Lennon claims Celtic will have to be at their best against an Ajax side he believes are as good as AC Milan and Barcelona if they are to take anything from their crunch Champions League clash in the Amsterdam ArenA on Wednesday night.

PA Sport Report
Champions League - Lennon ready for "pivotal" clash

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Neil Lennon of Celtic (PA Photos)

Expectation is building after the Hoops' 2-1 Group H win over the Dutch champions last month at Parkhead which gave them their first three points to leapfrog Frank De Boer's side, who dropped to bottom of the section with one point after three games.

A victory over Ajax could take the Scottish champions ahead of Milan, depending on how the Italian side fare against leaders Barca ,and set up a glory night at Celtic Park when the Rossoneri visit Glasgow later in the month.

However, the Celtic boss, who expects Georgios Samaras, Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig to be fit, tried to dampen down those expectations.

"We always knew that the double-header against Ajax would be pivotal and it has proved to be the case," he said.

"You don't know what is round the corner but what I would say is that on their day Ajax are as good as Barcelona and Milan.

"They caused us as many problems as both those teams and I think it will be the same.

"I think it was important that we got some points on the board against Ajax.

"But we are under no illusions as to how difficult this will be.

"Ajax were very unfortunate not to beat Milan here.

"I think the Champions League inspires players and gets the best out of them.

"I hope that is the case for our players.

"If we are to progress we have to pick something up away but we don't need to win.

"If we can get a point and beat Milan at home that gives us seven points and gives us a real chance of qualifying."

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