Celtic will host Romanian outfit CFR Cluj in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying round tie on Tuesday night. The first leg ended in a 1-1 stalemate, after James Forrest equalised for the Hoops.
Neil Lennon’s side will be expected to secure progression tonight at Celtic Park. However, they will have to be at the top of their game to do so. They will also need a goalscorer. The responsibility for bagging the goal that the Bhoys need may fall to Leigh Griffiths.
The 28-year-old No. 9 missed much of last season due to mental health issues, but looks ready for a return to regular action now. Celtic captain Scott Brown certainly believes Griffiths is now on his way back to his best.
As quoted by the BBC, Brown said of Griffiths, “it’d be great for him to get back to that situation. To get back to that fitness level, for him to get back to that belief as well that every shot that he’s going to hit is going to go in the back of the net because he is one the best finishers I’ve ever seen”.
The 34-year-old midfielder continued, “he’s getting fitter, he’s getting sharper, he’s getting stronger on that left foot…We just want him back to his best for Celtic and for Scotland because we know how vital he is for us”.
Griffiths certainly looked sharp against Motherwell on Saturday. He bagged his third goal of the campaign in the first half.
At his best, the 19-cap Scotland international is a top striker. However, he’s not been at that level for a while. His last truly impressive campaign came in the 2016/17 season, when he registered 12 goals and 11 assists in 24 Premiership outings. It would be brilliant for Celtic if Griffiths could hit close to those heights again.
There is still time for the forward to rediscover his best form. Recent performances and Brown’s verdict certainly offer encouragement that he is on the right path to doing so.