James Forrest anticipates tricky test

James Forrest Celtic

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James Forrest insists Celtic won’t be taking their Champions League third qualifying round first leg clash against CFR Cluj lightly.

Neil Lennon’s team have already knocked FK Sarajevo and Nomme Kluj out of the competition and thrashed St Johnstone 7-0 in their first Scottish Premiership match of the campaign on Saturday.

However, it will not be easy for Celtic in Romania as Cluj beat Maccabi Tel Aviv in the last round and were involved in the group stage of the Champions League in 2008/09 – when they beat Roma and held Chelsea to a goalless draw – 2010/11 and 2012/13 – when they got the better of Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Cluj have won their domestic title in each of the last two seasons and are managed by the former Chelsea, Sheffield Wednesday, Bradford City and Southampton star Dan Petrescu.

Forrest accepts that it could be a difficult evening in Romania, with the 28-year-old saying: “We’ve played a few European games, but now with the league having started and the League Cup starting early, we want to make sure we do well in every tournament we play in.

“We know that going to places like Cluj is difficult, and these games are always really hard games. We know it’ll be very difficult and we won’t take it lightly. The staff leading up to the games help the team out by analysing the opposition, and over the next few days we’ll get to know them a little bit more.”

Celtic can be backed at 2.50 to beat Cluj in Wednesday’s first leg while a victory for the Romanian champions is available at 2.88.

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