UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|LOSC Lille||Stade Pierre Mauroy - Villeneuve d'AscqThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (18.55 local time) Group H - Matchday 2
In-form LOSC Lille will be looking to consolidate a fine start to their UEFA Europa League Group D campaign with a long-awaited European home win as they host Scottish champions Celtic in northern France.
• The Ligue 1 side had gone a remarkable 17 European games without a win before they stunned ten-man Sparta Praha with a 4-1 victory in the Czech capital on Matchday 1, Turkish international midfielder Yusuf Yazıcı opening his European account with a hat-trick. On the same night Celtic were beaten 3-1 at home by AC Milan, Mohamed Elyounoussi's strike serving only to limit the damage against the Serie A high fliers.
• While LOSC are encountering Scottish opponents for the first time in a UEFA match, Celtic have met French clubs 18 times previously, including in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage when they claimed four of their 13 points from Rennes, Ryan Christie scoring in both matches (1-1 a, 3-1 h).
• However, the Bhoys are without a win in France since their first visit – a 3-1 victory at Nantes in the second round of their triumphant 1966/67 European Cup campaign – a run of eight games (D3 L5) that recently featured one of their heaviest European defeats, 7-1 at Paris Saint-Germain in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• LOSC are back in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the fourth time thanks to the fourth place they occupied when last season's Ligue 1 campaign ended in March. Christophe Galtier's side also competed in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, finishing bottom of a group containing Chelsea, Valencia and Ajax.
• The club from northern France last participated in the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2014/15, when they failed to win a game (D4 L2). Their other two group campaigns, in 2009/10 and 2010/11, were more successful as they reached the knockout phase on both occasions.
• Les Dogues are without a home win in 12 European matches (D5 L7) and have failed to score more than one goal in all of those games, registering just six in total; their last home success was in August 2012, 2-0 against Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League play-offs. In the UEFA Europa League group stage, however, their home record is W4 D3 L2.
• Celtic were declared Scottish champions for the ninth year in a row last season – and 51st time in all – despite the Premiership being called off in March. A 16-match European campaign that started in the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round ended in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where, after topping their group for the first time, they were knocked out by Copenhagen (1-1 a, 1-3 h).
• This term Celtic failed to negotiate the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase for the third successive summer, losing 1-2 at home to Ferencváros in the second qualifying round, but 1-0 away wins at Riga and Sarejevo put Neil Lennon's side into the UEFA Europa League group stage. This is the tenth successive season that the club are competing in a UEFA group stage and their seventh autumn series in the UEFA Europa League, three of their six previous participations having continued into the round of 32 – though never further.
• Celtic's 2-1 win at Lazio on Matchday 4 last season was only their second victory outside Glasgow in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, their all-time away record in the competition now standing at W2 D10 L10.
Links and trivia
• LOSC striker Timothy Weah, the son of Ballon d'Or winner George Weah, spent the second half of 2018/19 on loan at Celtic from Paris Saint-Germain, scoring four goals in 17 appearances for the Glasgow club.
• There are three Frenchmen in the Celtic squad – Christopher Jullien, Odsonne Édouard and Olivier Ntcham. Jullien played in his homeland for Auxerre (2011–13), Dijon (2015/16 loan) and Toulouse (2016–19), while Édouard began his career at Paris Saint-Germain before playing on loan at Toulouse alongside Jullien in 2016/17.
• Édouard is a France Under-21 colleague of LOSC's Jonathan Ikoné – a Matchday 1 scorer in Prague.
• Both clubs have a Greek international goalkeeper in their ranks – Orestis Karnezis (LOSC) and Vassilis Barkas (Celtic).
• Celtic's James Forrest is one game away from a century of appearances in UEFA club competition.
• LOSC's fourth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage matches the French record jointly held by Bordeaux, Marseille and St-Étienne.
• Celtic are one of six former European Cup winners in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, the others being Benfica (Group D), PSV Eindhoven (E), Feyenoord (K) Crvena zvezda (L) and Group H rivals Milan.