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Ferencvaros actually made it to the group stage of last season’s Champions League but found it difficult to compete, understandably picking up a solitary point in a group which included Juventus and Barcelona.
The Hungarian champions failed to make it through the qualifiers on this occasion, beating Kosovo’s FC Prishtina, Lithuania’s FK Zalgiris and Slavia Prague, but losing 3-2 to Young Boys in both legs of the final stage.
That saw them drop into the Europa League, where they have found life equally tough and are yet to pick up a point, losing to Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Celtic in the first three games.
Whilst their chances of progressing to the knockouts look slim, Peter Stoger will want to see his side at least fight for a respectable second half to the group stages and they can carry the momentum of back-to-back victories in their last two games – including a 7-0 win in the cup – into Thursday’s match.
There will be no Celtic fans in Ferencvaros Stadion after the Glasgow club were informed that the timescale for implementing a plan to allow entry to those travelling to Budapest with UK vaccine passports was too short.
“It’s disappointing for our supporters and for the atmosphere, but it’s the world we live in,” Postecoglou said. “We will be facing a side with the crowd behind them who have to win and we expect them to put us under pressure.
“We watched them against Leverkusen and Betis and they are a fantastic team with good players and every time you play in Europe away from home it is a challenge.”
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Postecoglou does not view the Europa League campaign as a distraction after his side fell four points behind reigning champions Rangers after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Livingston on Saturday.
“We’ve built a new team, we’re trying to play a certain way, we’re fitting in new players – you don’t want to miss these opportunities to test yourself and get growth and development,” he said.
While Celtic’s run of five straight wins was ended on Saturday, Ferencvaros were winning 2-0 away to Gyirmot and remain one point behind Kisvarda at the top of the Hungarian top flight with a game in hand.