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Celtic must prove to fans that they crave more than just domestic bliss

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4 minute read 14/2/2018 | 06:35am

Celtic have had a long winter to reflect on their European football hopes. Through domestic ups and downs, they’ve maintained their stranglehold over Scottish football for the most part, but this Thursday again invite one of Europe’s elite sides to Celtic Park.

This time it’s the turn of Russian Premier League side FC Zenit, providing Celtic’s first test in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League for the first time in three years, when they went up against Inter Milan.

Since their underwhelming loss to Anderlecht at Celtic Park in their final Champions League group stage match in December, worries amongst the Celtic support about their team’s ability to compete in continental competition have intensified, to the point that many are now dreading the match on Thursday night.

There’s a bleak truth to those worries given their defensive frailties and, according to OddsChecker, the Russian side are slight favourites heading into the match despite having not played a competitive match for months and having to travel the breadth of Europe and several time zones to arrive in Glasgow.

However, Thursday match should again be seen as an opportunity for this Celtic side to reach their potential and prove to supporters that aren’t simply happy sitting atop Scottish football and being the best side in an under performing footballing nation.

What is the benchmark?

Oddly, it’s quite difficult for Celtic fans to either feel aggrieved by the current status of

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