Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Celtic ace relishing Manchester United challenge

Celtic's Scott Brown

Manchester United are now approaching top form; Wayne Rooney is playing fantasy football, Dimitar Berbatov is beginning to show his class and you know Cristiano Ronaldo is about to explode into life.

But according to Celtic star Scott Brown there is nothing for the injury ravaged Bhoys to fear ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League clash at Old Trafford.

Celtic enter the game with one point from their opening two group games in the competition and know that they cannot afford to lose in Manchester if they are to have realistic hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Their away record in the tournament - taking one point from a possible 54 - would not fill most Celtic supporters with confidence, but Brown certainly isn’t lacking belief in the Bhoys.

“I am really looking forward to going to Old Trafford,” said Brown.

“I have never played there and it is going to be a great experience.

It looks to be a great pitch and a great stadium. I played at the Nou Camp last season and that was amazing and hopefully this trip will go well for us.

“The Champions League is special and at the end of the day it is 11 against 11 on the pitch. We’re not scared of anyone.

“You play the best teams in Europe in this competition, whether it’s Spain or Italy or now England.

“We matched AC Milan last season but fell short against Barcelona. The manager will have us well prepared and all the players will give 110 per cent.”

Celtic boss Gordon Strachan and his United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson aren’t exactly bosom buddies which makes this contest as intriguing off the pitch as on it.

Last season Celtic beat United 1-0 at Parkhead with the Red Devils winning 3-2 at Old Trafford in the Champions League group stages.

United didn’t have Berbatov then or Rooney in his current form come to that.

Worryingly for Celtic, Berbatov has predicted that his partnership with Rooney, which is starting to blossom, is going to get even better.

“Our partnership is improving,” said the Bulgarian.

“We are constantly working on it and are trying to understand each other without even looking.”

While Celtic won 2-1 at Inverness Caledonian on Saturday to go three points clear in the SPL, United hammered WBA 4-0 to move up to fifth in the Premier League with Berbatov scoring his first goal at old Trafford,.

The former Spurs striker said: “I was really delighted to score and hopefully there will be some more to come as soon as possible.”

Celtic, you have been warned.

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