Branislav Ivanovic says Celtic have an advantage against Zenit

Konstantin Kuchayev (R) of PFC CSKA Moscow is challenged by Branislav Ivanovic of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit...

Brendan Rodgers’s Celtic will face Zenit Saint Petersburg at Celtic Park in the Europa League this week.

Ze Luis (L) of FC Spartak Moscow vies for the ball with Branislav Ivanovic of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg during the Russian Premier League match between FC Spartak Moscow and FC Zenit Saint...

Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Branislav Ivanovic has told The Daily Record that Celtic have an advantage.

Russian Premier League club Zenit will take on Scottish Premiership outfit Celtic in the round of 32 in the Europa League this season.

The first leg of the tie will be held at Celtic Park in Glasgow on Thursday evening, and ahead of the match, former Chelsea defender Ivanovic has admitted that Brendan Rodgers’s side have an advantage.

Georgi Shchennikov (L) of PFC CSKA Moscow is challenged by Branislav Ivanovic of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moscow and FC Zenit...

The 33-year-old Serbia international, who has an eye injury at the moment, believes that Celtic playing games regularly is an advantage, as Zenit are not involved in competitive action due to the Russian Premier League being in its winter break.

Ivanovic told The Daily Record: “Celtic are a dangerous opponent for us because we’re not playing games in the Russian League. That is an advantage for them. They have a winning mentality.”

Branislav Ivanovic of Serbia in action during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Serbia and Georgia at stadium Rajko Mitic on October 9, 2017 in Belgrade.

Advantage Celtic?

Celtic have a good team, and although there are injury concerns defensively, the fact that the team are playing competitive domestic football at the moment is an advantage.

The Celtic players will be more match-fit than their Zenit counterparts, and the Hoops have to take advantage of this on Thursday evening, especially as the match is at Celtic Park.

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