Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his side to go full throttle tonight as they look to keep their Europa League qualification hopes alive.

Rodgers believes that the Bundesliga side have more quality throughout their squad than Celtic do – but wants his players to punch above their weight as they look to keep the hopes of European football after Christmas alive.

Realistically Celtic need to win the game against Leipzig, who currently hold a three-point advantage over Rodgers’ side.

But whatever the outcome of tonight’s meeting, Rodgers wants Celtic to roll up their sleeves and give it their best shot.

“Leipzig are a very good team,” said the Celtic manager. If you are looking man for man, they’re better than us. Simple. That’s why they’re third in the Bundesliga and why they’ll be challenging in domestic and, probably, European competition.

“But, for us, we always have to be about the collective.

“The thing for us is, OK, we might be playing against a very good squad. But we still have to go and show our true face. If we play how we can and lose, OK, that can happen.

“But let’s make sure you’re not timid with it. You don’t give up space easily. You fight and you get up tight to player. You give good players the chance to play and they will play. So you’ve got to get right in amongst it, press the game and have that same feeling that you do domestically.

“It would be a great win. I think we have to do everything we can to try and do it. We go into the game really confident and in a good way and with the support behind us, which is huge for us. I think I said before it all started that I felt the home games were going to be critical for us.

“If we get a win then we still have an opportunity. If we don’t then it is extremely difficult. I think we have to maximise our opportunity and if we can do that and win our next two games then we will have given ourselves every chance.”

And although there are difference in European football than there are domestically, Rodgers believes Celtic can step up. And he has told his players to relish the pressure of going into a game with so much at stake.

“Of course the game is quicker,” he said. “The speed of the game goes up and it catches our players out sometime, going from one level to the very, very top level of the game.

“Sometimes that takes us by surprise because it’s not something we get every single week.

“But, in saying that, we’re at home – and there’s a really nice pressure on us to win.

“Everyone always associates pressure with a negative. I’ve always tried to say that it’s positive, it’s great, let’s go and enjoy it, see if we can get the three points.”

Olivier Ntcham is a doubt for Celtic with the French midfielder just back at Lennoxtown after returning to the esteemed Clairefontaine centre in his homeland for treatment. It could be after the international break before Ntcham is back in action.

It could be,” said Rodgers. “I sent him away to Clairefontaine to get some specific work on his hamstring and he’s come back feeling good. The medical team and the rehab team will assess him with that and see if we can use him over the next couple of games. If not, and it’s too big a risk, then we’ll have to look at him after that.

“He’s come back in but there’s a big doubt.”

“Youssouf Mulumbu will come back. He’s been training for a wee bit of time. He’s available. Mikey Johnston has been involved, he will probably be out with a little niggle. But apart from that it’s pretty much the same players.”

“For Youssouf It will be about whether he can make the bench or not. It’s difficult to be out for so long, having not played for a while and then come straight into a game of that level.”