The advantage lies with Dinamo Moscow, but it was with quiet confidence that Tony Mowbray looked ahead to tomorrow night’s second leg in Russia.
Celtic go into the game in the knowledge that they must beat Dinamo to progress to the next round of UEFA Champions League qualifiers, after losing 1-0 at Celtic Park last Wednesday.
However, while the Celtic manager was impressed by the Russians, he saw enough in that encounter to believe that his players are capable of getting the win.
“We have brought 22 players and they are all fit to play a part,” he said. “We have a training session tonight and I will try and pick the team that will win the game.
“Every coach likes to wait until after his last training session before picking the team, in case a player picks up an injury. We’ll leave it until tomorrow before deciding who will start.
“The mindset is positive. We have taken enough encouragement from the first game and had we taken our chances we would have been coming here with a lead.
“It will be a tight game, they are a very good side, but we have taken enough positives from the first game to realize that we can cause them problems.
“Moscow gave us no surprises,” he continued. “I had seen them the week before and watched a lot of DVDs in the build up to the game.
“They were very well organized, very athletic, I had also watched them beat Zenit St Petersburg and not long ago they beat Manchester United in the European Super Cup. So we knew they were a good team and what we saw last week confirmed that.
“They are a counter-attacking team with good pace and once they scored the early goal it was very difficult for us to break them down. The team that played last Wednesday was the team I anticipated.”
Dinamo are also well into their season and have clearly gained momentum in their challenge for the Russian title.
They looked fit and match sharp, whereas last Wednesday’s game was Celtic's first competitive game of the new campaign.
Mowbray admitted that gives Dinamo another advantage, although he will be able to rely on the knowledge and experience of a group of players, many of whom have been competing at UEFA Champions League level for the past four seasons.
“Most of the players have been there and seen it for a good few years now and are well aware of how important European football is to the club and the supporters,” he said.
“They have had a few successes over the last few years, getting through the group stages to the last 16 and, although this is a very difficult tie, that’s something we would like to emulate.
“There is a potential advantage for Dinamo in that they are so far into their season, but as I said, there are no excuses.
“We have had a tough pre-season, we have prepared as well as we can and we will go into this game aiming to give a right good account of ourselves. We are confident that if we play our best we can give Dinamo problems and win the game.”