AC Milan will hope to return to winning ways as they host a Celtic side that can no longer progress from Group H.
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After taking just one point from their last two games, AC Milan will hope to return to winning ways in Group H as they host a Celtic side that can no longer qualify for the round of 32.
• Beaten 4-1 home and away by Sparta Praha, Celtic are out of the running after just four matches, while Milan's failure to beat LOSC Lille (0-3 h, 1-1 a) means they have surrendered top spot to the French side and are now just one point above Sparta in second place. The Serie A giants can still secure qualification on Matchday 5, however, if they beat Celtic and the Czech side lose in northern France.
• Milan beat Celtic 3-1 in Glasgow on Matchday 1, first European goals for Rade Krunić and Brahim Díaz preceding a late third from newly signed Norwegian forward Jens Petter Hauge, with Mohamed Elyounoussi's strike for the home side proving in vain.
• The clubs are familiar foes having faced each other ten times prior to this campaign, all in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. Milan recorded six victories to Celtic's one in those matches, with four wins and a draw at home, and made it through to the final in the first three seasons that the clubs met – in 1968/69 (winners), 2004/05 (runners-up) and 2006/07 (winners).
• Milan's overall European record against Scottish clubs is now W11 D3 L3. At home it is a dominant W7 D1, with 17 goals scored and just two conceded, although they have hosted no Scottish visitors other than Celtic since 1971.
• This is Celtic's 29th UEFA fixture against an Italian club, their record standing at W7 D8 L13. Conquerors of Milan's city rivals Internazionale in their first encounter with Serie A opposition, in the 1967 European Cup final (2-1), Celtic went 12 matches without a win in Italy (D3 L9) until they finally broke their duck in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage, overcoming Lazio 2-1 in Rome with an added-time strike from Olivier Ntcham.
• A sixth-placed finish in Serie A last term earned Milan a return to Europe after a one-season absence. Stefano Pioli's side beat Shamrock Rovers (2-0 a) and runaway Norwegian league leaders Bodø/Glimt (3-2 h) in their first two qualifying matches before dramatically capturing a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage by ousting Rio Ave 9-8 in a marathon penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in Portugal.
• This is the seven-time European champions' third appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage, all in the last four seasons. They topped their group in 2017/18 before advancing into the round of 16, where they were convincingly defeated by Arsenal (0-2 h, 1-3 a), but in 2018/19 they could only finish third in their section, eliminated by Olympiacos and Real Betis. It was the first time the Rossoneri had failed to qualify from their group in a UEFA competition since the second group stage of the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League, ending a sequence of 14 straight successes.
• Milan's home record in the UEFA Europa League, qualifiers included, is W9 D1 L3. In the group stage it is W5 D1 L2, with the five wins all coming on Matchdays 2 and 5 and the two defeats both on Matchday 3 including this season's 0-3 loss to LOSC.
• 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 them 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 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 stands at W2 D11 L11 following this season's 2-2 draw in Lille and the defeat in Prague.
Links and trivia
• Diego Laxalt joined Celtic on loan from Milan in September. The Uruguyan international also played for Bologna, Empoli, Genoa and Torino in Serie A.
• Ntcham played in Italy for Genoa between 2015 and 2017, scoring three goals in 37 Serie A games.
• Bhoys manager Neil Lennon played for Celtic against Milan in all four of the 2004/05 and 2006/07 matches.
• Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton's next appearance in UEFA club competition will be his 50th, while team-mate James Forrest has featured on 99 occasions.
• Milan and Celtic are two 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) and Crvena zvezda (L).