The buzz of anticipation is already building and on Tuesday night the uninitiated will get a chance to savor an atmosphere that Tony Mowbray believes is completely unique in football.
Looking ahead to the UEFA Champions League play-off against Arsenal, the manager found himself trying to explain the concept of what has become known as ‘the Celtic family’, while trying to convey the emotions involved in supporting the club.
It was a hard task, one that he managed with his usual eloquence, and he hopes that both he and his players will be able to rely on their support tomorrow night.
“I'm sure you will be at the game tomorrow and will be able to soak it up yourself,” said Mowbray. “It is a bit different and a bit special.
“I managed in the Premier League last year and felt the atmosphere there. It is one of the best leagues in the world, because every game you go to is sold out.
"This club probably takes it a step further. You come to this stadium any day of the week and there are hundreds, if not thousands, milling about outside. It’s important that we give them something to feel proud about and we will try and do that tomorrow.”
The manager went on to explain his own decision to return to Scotland after his time at West Brom, adding that in every visit to Celtic Park as an opposing manager with Hibs, he was reminded of the club’s uniqueness.
“I came here because the draw of Celtic is too strong for me to resist,” he said. “I was a player here for four years and managed in Edinburgh, playing against this club, just walking out there and seeing the atmosphere and what this club means to so many people.
“That was the draw and I am here to try and be successful for the supporters, to try and make the club successful on and off the pitch and set the right standards. I hope that nights like tomorrow come up very often over the next four years.”
His team go into this match as underdogs against last year’s UEFA Champions League semi-finalists. It is a somewhat unusual position for a Celtic side to be in, with the team normally regarded as favorites at home.
This has lifted some of the weight of expectation, although the manager explained that he would need every supporter to play their part and show patience as well as support.
“I think it lifts a little of the burden, a little of the expectation,” he said. “The crowd understand that this is a night when the Celtic family need to gather together and be strong together.
“That can only be positive, so I wouldn’t anticipate too many moans and groans about a bad pass here or a back pass there.
“I would expect the supporters to be fully behind the team for 90 minutes and when we are in attacking mode and going forward, being very supportive.
“That’s the way I would envisage this game and together as a group, the staff, the players and supporters, we will try and overcome Arsenal.”