Lille v Celtic: Is it on TV, who to watch, form guide, Europa League preview, last match
Neil Lennon takes his Celtic side to north-east France hoping for a change in fortunes in the Europa League against OSC Lille.
The Hoops don’t have a great record in France, having not won there for more than 50 years, and they’re seeking a win after defeats to Rangers and Milan and the weekend draw at Aberdeen.
The match is among the early kick-offs on Thursday night and here’s your guide on how to watch, and who to keep an eye on.
Who: OSC Lille v Celtic
What: UEFA Europa League – Group H
Where: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
When: 5.55pm, Thursday October 29
How to watch
As with last week, BT Sports have the rights to the game and will be screening the Group H encounter on BT Sport 3 (Sky channel 869) from 5.30pm. Kick off is at 5.55pm.
The Hoops’ game will be screened immediately before Rangers’ clash with Lech Poznan on the same channel. Last week the pundits for both games pitched up at Celtic Park to analyse the away match before the live action in front of them, and that could well be the plan again.
Alternatively Celtic TV will be offering audio coverage via their subscription packages.
Who to Watch
Had things been a little different, Celtic would have been facing up to a familiar face in Alfredo Morelos, after the French outfit courted the Rangers striker throughout the summer. Instead, the familiar face in the opposition line-up will be former Celtic loanee Timo Weah who moved from Paris Saint-Germain last year, shortly after the end of his temporary stint at Celtic Park. But he’s not the only one to watch in the Lille line-up.
Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches burst onto the scene as a teenager and they’ve complemented a star-studded line-up with Jonathan David for a cool £28m after moving on from Morelos. The striker has struggled to settle though and Burak Yilmaz – the Turkish striker – has stepped up with four goals in eight appearances.
Joint top of Ligue 1, Celtic’s hosts are on top form – and unbeaten in all competitions this season.
They thumped Sparta Prague 4-1 away from home on matchday one of the Europa League group stage last Thursday and followed it up with a 1-1 draw with Nice on Sunday.
However, that’s the only blip since a battling draw at Marseille last month and they’ve hit 14 goals in the last five to rack up the goal difference, but it’s still not enough to take them top of the domestic league with PSG riding high with them on 18 points.
This is the first time the sides have ever met in competitive action.
Looking back to Celtic’s record against French sides though shows a spread of results, most recently weighted in defeats by two heavy reverses by PSG under Brendan Rodgers, a home win over Rennes last season and a draw away from home.
Celtic have won a third of all games with French opposition, defeated nine times and drawing three to six wins, but you have to go a long way back – to the Lisbon Lions’ season infact for an away French victory – 3-1 against Nantes in the second round of the European Cup.
Since then it’s been defeats or, at best draws, on Celtic’s sojourns across the Channel.