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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Sep 17, 2013

Celtic aim to unsettle Balotelli

Celtic could use mental tactics to give them the upper hand in Wednesday's Champions League clash with AC Milan, with mind games to disgruntle Mario Balotelli at the top of their list.

The Scottish champions are expected to face a tough battle to progress to the knockout stage, with Barcelona and Ajax their other opponents in a difficult group.

Celtic defender John Kennedy believes unsettling the usually feisty Balotelli will give his side the upper hand at the San Siro.

"You would try and upset him because on his night he is a handful for anyone," Kennedy said. "He has been (upset) in the past but it's important you don't get too caught up in trying to upset someone else.

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"You have to remember that you've got a job to do in the team. You could get dragged into a one-on-one war with a player to upset him and then forget about the job you have got in the team.

"It's important players stick to their jobs, whatever the manager asks them to carry out. If you can stop Milan playing and nick a chance or two then you might just get a result."

The Bhoys have often found it tough to win away from home in the Champions League, but Kennedy is hopeful last season's win at Spartak Moscow has improved his side's fortunes on the road.

"Going away from home is very difficult," he said. "I think all teams find going away from home in Europe is difficult. You have to go there, be organised, be disciplined and hopefully create one or two chances. That's pretty much the game plan the manager has had in the past.

"With Celtic in the past we pretty much relied on our home form. The confidence has improved regarding the away form. There was a period when there was a big hoodoo with the away form, but the manager did really well in away games.

"Hopefully the team can take confidence from that. It's not all about taking the game to opposition away from home in the Champions League. You can't open up and allow top teams to pick holes in you. The most important thing is you are organised and everybody in the team knows their roles, and hopefully you can get a couple of chances."

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