CELTIC captain Callum McGregor has grown accustomed to toasting trebles during his trophy-laden career at Parkhead.

The Scotland midfielder became the first man in the history of world football to complete a clean sweep of domestic silverware in the same season five times during the 2022/23 campaign when he captained his side to the League Cup, Premiership and Scottish Cup.

But he has savoured a few significant doubles in his time as well – not least the back-to-back wins over Lazio which he was involved in four years ago.

McGregor helped Neil Lennon’s team to come from behind and record identical 2-1 triumphs over their Italian rivals both at home and away in the Europa League in 2019. 

He is one of just two players who took part in that memorable double header still at Celtic – evergreen winger James Forrest also featured – but the memory of those victories remain fresh in his mind.

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They are giving him confidence heading into the second Champions League group game against the Serie A outfit this evening.

The 30-year-old believes that if Brendan Rodgers’ men can perform as well as they did on the last occasion they faced their opponents on their own turf they can record their first win in the competition in six long years and their first home win in 10 years.

“That Lazio home game was a wee while ago now,” he said. “But obviously it was a really positive night. It was a tough game and to win it in that fashion in the last couple of minutes was great. 

“The big man (Christopher Jullien) gets a header on it for a brilliant late winner. The place was rocking, the atmosphere was great. It was an amazing night. Obviously, we then went and repeated it a few weeks later in Rome.

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“We need to try and reproduce that type of performance, draw on that type of energy, especially from the crowd at home. Everyone has to play well. You need a bit of luck, you need your goalkeeper to make big saves. You just need the perfect storm really. 

“That’s what you need. Especially at this level. You need to play with personality. It’s about trying to stay calm, sticking to your structures and knowing you can score goals and defend properly. That was the perfect example of it.”

Celtic slumped to a 2-0 defeat in their opening Group E match against Dutch champions Feyenoord in Rotterdam a fortnight ago after having centre half Gustaf Lagerbielke and midfielder Odin Thiago Holm ordered off in the second half.

McGregor, though, is confident that his understrength side can, with the backing of the sell-out crowd inside Parkhead, put their miserable run of results against the continent’s elite firmly behind them.  

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“When we played Lazio before we had a great mix of youth and experience and we performed really well,” he said. “But ultimately you have to play really well in the Champions League. 

“When you step up from the domestic level, everything is quicker, sharper. You have to be concentrated. You take a while to find your feet. But then you have that moment when you think, ‘Okay, I’m good enough to play at this level’.

“When the team has that as a collective, the performance levels can skyrocket. We are probably waiting on that moment as a group and the quicker we get it the more it will stand us in good stead.

“But I think we have to have that expectation. We can’t lower expectations as then performance levels will drop and you start to accept more as a group. It doesn’t matter who goes into a Celtic team. You have to reach a level.

“The boys are the ones who drive that standard. We don’t accept sloppy standards. We very rarely drop below that and drop points. Anyone who comes into the team knows there is a certain level.

“You look at guys like Liam Scales coming in and doing so well. He’s slotted in like he’s played 100 games for Celtic. That’s the expectation of the club, you have to be ready. There is a big performance coming and we are probably due one.”

The meeting with Lazio under the floodlights promises to be another special European night in the East End of Glasgow and McGregor is looking forward to the occasion immensely.

However, the Celtic skipper admitted he would like Parkhead to be feared by visiting sides, not just renowned for its atmosphere, and he is determined to help the Scottish champions give their tens of thousands of fans a win to cheer.

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“Everybody talks about this being a place they all want to come and play,” he said. “Because of that, they obviously come here and have a memorable experience. The only way we can add to that is by making this place a fortress. 

“By all means, they can come here and have an enjoyable night when it comes to the atmosphere and stuff. But we need to make sure they haven’t left with any points. That’s the next bit for us.

“This is a big match. Hopefully we can step on to the pitch and produce a positive performance. A win would be massive.”