Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen believes that there is little between the Bundesliga side and Celtic – but has warned that Leipzig are heading to Glasgow in search of a win on Thursday night.

Celtic host the German side in a game that has a must-win feel to it for Brendan Rodgers’ side; second-placed Leipzig are currently three points and five goals better off than Celtic in Group B and would effectively write off any pretensions of progression from Rodgers’ men if they were to win this week.

Celtic have the advantage of two home games out of the three still to be played but the outcome of Thursday will be crucial.

“I wouldn’t say there is a gap between Celtic and ourselves,” said the 24-year-old Danish internationalist. “In fact, I’d say there is no real difference at all. In the first 20 minutes in Germany it was a very even game. Our second goal was really important. Celtic were still in the game but in Europe it is really difficult to come back from 2-0 down away from home.

“So, I would say the two teams are about the same level but, yes, we are now big favourites to finish second in the group. We believe we can win in Glasgow which would put us in a strong position. A draw would be good as well but we want the three points.

“A draw would be enough, I would think, but we are a team who looks to win every game. It is going to be a different match, I do know that.”

Celtic’s achilles heel in Europe has been the ease with which they have gifted soft goals to their opponents. It was a similar story when they teams met in Germany almost a fortnight ago with two goals in three minutes killing off any ambitions Celtic had of taking something from the game.

Of late, however, the domestic form of Rodgers’ side has offered encouragement, as has the partnership between Filip Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata in defence. In their last three outings Celtic have netted 13 goals without reply as they rediscover a swagger that was conspicuously absent at the start of the season.

“Celtic were good for 20 minutes, it was an even game then, but then when we scored, and it was out of nothing, we enjoyed a good phase where we created a lot of chances,” reflected Poulsen.

“We are going to Glasgow to win the game. We feel good about this match. Of course, we know it’s one thing winning 2-0 at home but it’s another to going to Celtic Park and win. I saw for myself what the Celtic fans are like, and it will be a great atmosphere on Thursday which we will have to deal with. That’s going to be a factor this week.”

Callum McGregor and James Forrest appear to be vying for the most effective Celtic player this term. Both Scotland internationalists have excelled, with McGregor in particular filling the void left in the central area by club captain Scott Brown.

His performance was not lost on Poulsen.

“He is a really good footballer,” said the striker. “I was impressed by him. I don’t know Odsonne Edouard so well but he was good as well. In that first 20 minutes he was everywhere and won every duel and had some chances.”