Celtic's Group H campaign comes to a close against a LOSC Lille side who have already booked their passage through to the knockout phase.
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Celtic's underwhelming UEFA Europa League Group H campaign comes to a close with a home game against a LOSC Lille side who have already booked their passage through to the knockout phase and have their sights set on a third successive away win.
• Two late goals from substitute striker Burak Yılmaz earned LOSC a 2-1 comeback victory against Sparta Praha on Matchday 5 – the French club's first European home win in 15 attempts – to ensure qualification for the round of 32 alongside AC Milan, who also came from behind to beat Celtic 4-2. LOSC have 11 points, one more than Milan, and will top the group with a win in Glasgow, though any result will do if the Italian giants fail to take three points from their final group fixture away to Sparta.
• The clubs went head to head for the first time in UEFA competition on 29 October, a Mohamed Elyounoussi double putting Celtic 2-0 up in northern France before LOSC, who had never previously faced Scottish opponents, came back to draw 2-2 with second-half strikes from Zeki Çelik and Jonathan Ikoné.
• The Bhoys have won five and lost four of their nine home games against French clubs. In the last such contest, Paris Saint-Germain won 5-0 at Celtic Park in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage to inflict Celtic's heaviest ever European home defeat.
• 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 were unable 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, four of which, including this one, have failed to bring further progress.
• There were three wins out of three for Celtic at home in last season's group stage, against CFR Cluj (2-0), Lazio (2-1) and Rennes (3-1). However, their three UEFA Europa League fixtures in Glasgow since then, against Copenhagen, Milan (1-3) and Sparta (1-4), have all ended in defeat.
• LOSC are 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 French club 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 had gone a remarkable 17 European games without a win until they beat Sparta 4-1 in Prague on Matchday 1 – their first victory in nine continental matches on the road (D2 L6), which they promptly followed with another, 3-0 at Milan. In the UEFA Europa League group stage their away record is now W3 D4 L4.
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 Ikoné.
• Both clubs have a Greek international goalkeeper in their ranks – Vassilis Barkas (Celtic) and Orestis Karnezis (LOSC).
• Yusuf Yazıcı, with hat-tricks in LOSC's first two Group H away fixtures, against Sparta and Milan, is the leading scorer in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage with six goals.
• LOSC's Croatian international left-back Domagoj Bradarić celebrates his 21st birthday on Matchday 6.
• This is Celtic's 50th match in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Celtic have the worst defensive record in this season's UEFA Europa League, with 17 goals conceded after five matches. The highest number ever conceded in a UEFA Europa League group is 20 – by Slovan Bratislava in 2014/15 and Vardar in 2017/18.
• 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.
• LOSC's fourth participation in the UEFA Europa League group stage matches the French record jointly held by Bordeaux, Marseille and St-Étienne.