Celtic FC must end their ten-match losing streak away from home when they visit fellow Group E stragglers Aalborg BK or otherwise face a premature end to their European participation this season.
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Celtic FC must end their ten-match losing streak away from home in the UEFA Champions League or face a premature end to their European participation this season. That is the scenario facing the Scottish champions when they visit Group E rivals Aalborg BK on Matchday 5.
• Gordon Strachan's Celtic team lie level on two points with AaB and another defeat on their travels would consign them to fourth place and the section's wooden spoon. Given there is a six-point gap between this pair and the top two, Manchester United and Villarreal CF, it is almost certain that the best either side can hope for is third place and entry into the UEFA Cup Round of 32.
• A victory for either team would ensure this consolation prize by giving them a three-point advantage over their rivals and a superior head-to-head record going into the final round of fixtures.
• The teams previously drew 0-0 at Celtic Park on Matchday 1 when AaB goalkeeper Karim Zaza saved a first-half penalty from Barry Robson to ensure the spoils were shared.
• If the Villarreal-Man United fixture at El Madrigal ends in a draw, both AaB and Celtic will be eliminated. If AaB and Villarreal both win, then the Danish title-holders will retain a mathematical chance of finishing second ahead of United, although they would need to win by at least three goals at Old Trafford on Matchday 6. Likewise if Celtic and United win, the Scottish team would have a faint possibility of overtaking Villarreal, who beat them 1-0 on Matchday 2.
• AaB gained a morale-boosting 2-2 draw at home with Villarreal on Matchday 4, coming from behind twice to claim a point through goals from Jeppe Curth and Anders Due. It was Allan Kuhn's first UEFA Champions League game at the helm after replacing Bruce Rioch as coach on a short-term basis.
• Under Rioch, AaB opened their programme with a goalless draw at Celtic prior to defeats at home by United (0-3) and away to Villarreal (3-6).
• Celtic's miserable away run continued with losses at Villarreal (0-1) and Manchester United (0-3) on Matchdays 2 and 3. Their two points in Group E to date have come from home draws with AaB and United, the all-British contest with the latter side on Matchday 4 finishing 1-1 after Ryan Giggs' late equaliser cancelled out Scott McDonald's first-half strike for the Scottish side.
• The date of Celtic's meeting with Aalborg – 25 November – comes four years and a day since they last avoided defeat on the road in the UEFA Champions League proper, John Hartson scoring their goal in a 1-1 draw at FC Barcelona.
• AaB's beleaguered defenders may be happy to face Celtic's shot-shy forwards – and perhaps vice versa. After all, this match brings together the team with the most goals conceded in the group stage (AaB with eleven) and the team with the fewest scored (Celtic with just one).
• AaB had never faced a Scottish team prior to the sides' stalemate at Celtic Park on Matchday 1.
• As a player, AaB coach Kuhn featured for then Danish champions Lyngby BK in a 1-0 home defeat by Celtic's arch-rivals Rangers FC in the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League first round.
• Celtic's overall record against Danish opposition is good with seven wins and two draws from eleven previous meetings. On their most recent visit to Denmark, however, they went down 3-1 to FC København in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League group stage. Jirí Jarošík struck a late consolation goal for Celtic that evening.
• Celtic's last win in Denmark came in a 1983/84 UEFA Cup first-round tie against AGF Århus. The Glasgow club won 4-1 through goals from Murdo McLeod, Frank McGarvey, Roy Aitken and Davie Provan to complete a 5-1 aggregate success.
• Celtic manager Strachan was in the Scotland team beaten 1-0 by Denmark in the Danes' first ever FIFA World Cup finals match in Mexico in 1986.