PATRICK Roberts is confident Celtic have a forward line every bit as lethal as their Champions League rivals Paris Saint-Germain and can spring off a major surprise in their opening Group B match.

The French champions are set to unleash the most expensive strike force in football history in the East End of Glasgow tomorrow evening – world record £198 million signing Neymar, his £165 million sidekick Kylian Mbappe and £60 million man Edinson Cavani.

Unai Emery’s side are second favourites to triumph in Europe’s premier club competition behind defending champions and 12-time winners Real Madrid as a result of their lavish summer recruitment drive.

Loading article content

Ominously for Celtic, Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani were all on target in Saint-Germain’s emphatic 5-1 triumph over their Ligue 1 opponents Metz on Friday evening.

However, Roberts, the Manchester City winger who has returned to Parkhead on loan for the 2017/18 campaign, believes his team have attacking players who can hurt their renowned opponents themselves.

“Obviously, the league we play in isn’t the same as their league,” he said. “It is a bit underestimated. But we know the quality we have in the team. On our day we can kill teams off.

“The first game is at Celtic Park which is important for us. If we can get the fans behind us then we can hurt them with our counter attacks and our speed.

"We have some real firepower with Odsonne (Edouard) coming in and Griff (Leigh Griffiths). It is good. We shouldn’t be underestimated."

Roberts continued: “We went unbeaten last season and won what we did. This season we are no different. We have the same mentality.

"I know I have just come back in, but you can see throughout the summer the boys were putting the work in and they have kept their performance levels high and at the same level as last year. Like I said, we will go into the game positive and focused.”

The 20-year-old, who is hoping to be involved against Paris after playing for 67 minutes of the 4-1 victory over Hamilton in a Ladbrokes Premiership match at the SuperSeal Stadium on Friday night, feels that Celtic gained invaluable experience playing in the Champions League last season.

Brendan Rodgers’s side took on Barcelona, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Manchester City and managed to draw with their German rivals away and their English opponents both home and away.

“Last year we competed against the best and this year we have a similar type of group,” said Roberts. “We go into it the same way as we did last year. But we are more experienced now. We know what the Champions League is like. We will go into it more confident and hopefully get something out of the games.”

“Playing Manchester City last season was good for me. In this game, I don’t show no fear. They are all humans at the end of the day and so am I. I give my best. I want to perform at the highest level. I know I’ve got to do that. But I have that mentality. I have just got to show that on the pitch. Hopefully I can do that.

“As a player you hope to start. I need to get some games under my belt. The gaffer put the team up on Friday and I was starting. It was obviously good for me. I need to get some games under my belt and get as fit as possible.

“I have always felt ready, but obviously I don’t have the match sharpness that the other lads have had from being involved over the summer. So to get 60 or 70 minutes the other night was important. I felt good, I felt sharp, I felt good in myself, which is obviously important.

“The Celtic fans know what I’m about and the manager knows what I’m about. It’s just about me going out onto the pitch and doing what I know and what I’ve always done. I relish it. I love getting the fans off their seats and hopefully producing a performance that they enjoy. I think we did that the other night. I was pleased with my performance.”

Edouard, the 19-year-old French striker who has joined Celtic on loan from Saint-Germain for the season, scored on his debut for the Scottish champions and received a round of applause from his new team mates in the dressing room afterwards.

Roberts believes the centre forward and with his fellow new recruits Kundai Benyu, Olivier Ntcham and Jonny Hayes have strengthened the Parkhead club, who went undefeated domestically last season and won only their fourth treble, even further.

“Odsonne’s English is going to need a bit of work on it, but he is a top lad and a great player,” he said. “He is a good addition to the side. He is obviously, strong, quick and, as you saw the other night, he can score goals which is important. To have a third striker is important. I am glad he got his goal the other night.”

“We try to encourage him as much as we can to play the way we do. Hopefully he has seen how we played last year and can emulate that when he comes in the side. He did really well tonight. He worked hard and got his goal. That is important for a striker. He is only young. It is a good learning experience for him to come here. It will be important for him.

“I think it was more important to keep everyone who was here last season here. I have come back now. I was the only one who wasn’t here. It is important. There is a good morale in the squad. To add new faces is good for competition for places. It is only good. It is just good to keep the whole squad together.”