Champions League - Celtic 'should provoke Balotelli'

Former Celtic defender John Kennedy admits he would try to unsettle Mario Balotelli if he was playing against the temperamental AC Milan striker on Wednesday night.

PA Sport

But Kennedy has warned that Celtic must keep their own discipline when they begin their Champions League group campaign at San Siro.

Balotelli, who has three goals and three yellow cards from his five appearances this season, is looking increasingly important to the home side's chances on Wednesday amid a growing injury list which Kaka has joined.

Kennedy, who is taking his Celtic youngsters to face Milan in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday afternoon, said: "You would try and upset him because on his night he is a handful for anyone.

"He has been (upset) in the past but it's important you don't get too caught up in trying to upset someone else.

"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."

Kennedy has been on the winning side against Milan at Parkhead but was part of a Celtic team that could not win away from home in the group stages.

However, Neil Lennon's men broke their duck at Spartak Moscow last season and Kennedy hopes that can lead to lasting improvement.

"Going away from home is very difficult," the 30-year-old 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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