Europa League: Celtic aim to finish group with win over RB Salzburg

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Celtic will target win over Salzburg - Rodgers

Celtic will aim to finish their Europa League group campaign with victory over RB Salzburg despite only needing one point to qualify, says Brendan Rodgers.

The Scottish champions put themselves in pole position to claim second spot with their 1-0 victory over Rosenborg.

But manager Rodgers is keen to use home advantage to finish a "great learning campaign" on a high on 13 December.

"Like always, we will go in to win the game - it is very hard to just play for a point and a draw," he said.

"We will be playing against a good side but we want to win the game and use the whole Celtic Park experience and atmosphere to push us over the line.

"It will be a fantastic demonstration of the Celtic support and what that synergy between them and the team is all about."

'The injuries will be fine'

Rodgers was "very pleased" with the way his players responded to the pressure needing victory in Norway to maintain their hopes of a place in the last 32.

Scott Sinclair's first-half header secured a sixth win in a seven-game unbeaten run, maintaining their momentum heading into Sunday's League Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park.

"To play to that level technically was a good insight for me, to see the calmness and confidence and how they all connected with the pressing," Rodgers said.

"Even in the last couple of years, and going into that first League Cup final [against Aberdeen in 2016], I would say this is the best level of performance, probably because we have been together a bit longer and the players have gained confidence from winning trophies.

"We will prepare for a tough game of course, but our aim is to win."

Graphic of Celtic's group

Rodgers played down the second-half withdrawals of right-back Mikael Lustig, who came off with what "looks like a bit of a dead leg", and winger James Forrest, who required treatment for a knock before later being substituted. Striker Odsonne Edouard was also replaced.

"A few of the boys we just needed to protect," he said. "It was precautionary really with Mika and James, and with Odsonne being our only fit striker with Griff [Leigh Griffiths] just coming back.

"The plan was to give him 65 minutes and then get some game time into one or two others. I think the injuries will be fine."

Meanwhile, captain Scott Brown returned to action for the first time since 20 October, coming on as substitute for the final 14 minutes to increase Rodgers' selection options for the final.

'It sets Celtic up perfectly' - analysis

Former Scotland defender Willie Miller on BBC Radio Scotland

Celtic, throughout the 90 minutes, were the better side. They created more chances and completely dominated the first half. It's a great result for them. It sets it up perfectly for the final game.

If you were given the situation going into the final game at home, having to get a draw or a win, then at the beginning of this campaign you would have certainly taken that.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 29th November 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Leverkusen5311118310
2Zürich53026519
3AEK Larnaca512257-25
4Ludogorets503246-23

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1RB Salzburg55001551015
2Celtic530256-19
3RB Leipzig52038716
4Rosenborg5005313-100

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St Petersburg532063311
2Slavia Prague521223-17
3FC Copenhagen512234-15
4Bordeaux511356-14

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Zagreb5410113813
2Fenerbahçe52217618
3Spartak Trnava511337-44
4Anderlecht502327-52

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal5410112913
2Sporting5311103710
3Vorskla Poltava5104410-63
4FK Qarabag5104212-103

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Real Betis532072511
2AC Milan5311116510
3Olympiakos52128537
4F91 Dudelange5005316-130

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal514010557
2Rapid Vienna521259-47
3Rangers51318716
4Spartak Moscow5122810-25

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Frankfurt55001541115
2Lazio530289-19
3Apollon Limassol511379-24
4Marseille5014513-81

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk522110828
2Besiktas5212910-17
3Malmö FF51316606
4Sarpsborg 08512289-15

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FK Krasnodar540185312
2Sevilla530215699
3Standard Liege530279-29
4Akhisarspor5005414-100

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dynamo Kiev5320106411
2FC Astana52217528
3Rennes520358-36
4FK Jablonec502358-32

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea5500101915
2BATE Borisov520368-26
3MOL Vidi520335-26
4PAOK Salonika510449-53
View full Europa League tables

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