BRENDAN Rodgers last night urged his Celtic players to fight for their Europa League lives against RB Leipzig at Parkhead this evening.

The Scottish champions will be unable to progress to the knockout rounds of the competition if they lose to their German rivals - and Salzburg draw or beat Rosenborg away.

Rodgers’s side was beaten 2-0 at the Red Bull Arena by Ralf Rangnick’s team in their last Group B match a fortnight ago.

But the Northern Irishman is convinced his men can win at home with their fans behind them and reach the last 32 for the second season running – if they rise to the challenge.

“Leipzig are a very good team,” he said. “If you are looking man for man, they’re better than us. 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. Okay, 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, okay, 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.

“Of course the game is quicker. The speed of the game goes up and it catches our players out sometimes, 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.

“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.”

Rodgers revealed Olivier Ntcham,the central midfielder who suffered a hamstring injury in the Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hearts last month, is doubtful despite being sent back to his native France for treatment.

Asked if Ntcham might not be available until after the international break, Rodgers said: “It could be. I sent him away to Clairefontaine (the French national football centre) 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.”

Elsewhere, Youssouf Mulumbu, who had been sidelined with a calf strain, is available, but is unlikely to start due to the fact he has not played in over a month.