Neil Lennon has the belief and the drive to steer Celtic past Juventus

• Barcelona win has proven Italians need not be feared
• Lennon does not want to stop at last 16 of Champions League

Neil Lennon may be about to enter uncharted territory but the Celtic manager has no desire to end his Champions League run at the last-16 stage.

Lennon, who guided Celtic to the competition's group stage for the first time under his management this season, is now preparing his players for Tuesday's visit of Juventus. Celtic's win over Barcelona in November has proved to their manager that the Italians should not be feared.

"When I took on the job I didn't imagine a game like this, when you consider where we were and the progress that we have made," Lennon said.

"What I did think at the start of the season was that if we could get through the qualifiers we could make inroads in the Champions League with the players that we had. We don't want to stop now at the last 16. We've got two titanic games against Juventus to look forward to and anything can happen over a two-game tie."

Lennon has refused to pay too much attention to the recent arrival of Nicolas Anelka at the Turin club. "I think they're pretty top-heavy at centre-forward," he added. "They've got [Alessandro] Matri.

"I don't know how much football Anelka has played in the last few months, so whether he's been brought in for domestic football or this game, I don't know. We had them watched against Fiorentina on Saturday but we know that whatever two strikers they use will be quality. They are pretty clinical in the final third so we'll have to be at our best."

Kris Commons, who was among Celtic's scorers as they eased to a 3-1 win at Inverness on Saturday, added to Lennon's sentiment that Celtic can make the Champions League quarter-finals.

"It feels like it's been a long time coming, probably about two and a half months, so I just hope it doesn't pass us by," he said.

"We have to take the opportunity by putting in the kind of performance that we know we are capable of at Celtic Park.

"I don't think this is a tougher proposition than Barcelona. I think playing against arguably the best team in the world is a tougher game on paper but I think we're playing for something a lot bigger. The prize at the end of it is bigger. It's a luxury tie for us but we know we are more than capable of winning the match. We fancy ourselves over the two legs. We're quietly confident."

Commons believes Celtic Park's famous European atmosphere can afford the hosts a first-leg advantage. "Juventus are no mugs, it's not like they've never seen this sort of atmosphere before," he said.

"They get paid incredible wages to deal with that and play in these arenas but the atmosphere gives us a lift and increases our game. I think that's why we are more than capable of beating the best teams in Europe – because of our fans."

Commons laughed off Rangers' offer to Juventus to use the Ibrox club's Murray Park training base during preparations for the game against Celtic. "They can train in my back garden, it would make no difference," he said. "If they want to train at a Division Three training ground, let them get on with it."

James Forrest missed the Inverness game with a hamstring complaint but the winger is included in the squad for Juventus. "Forrest is fine," Lennon said. "He has had the two scans and he came through all clear so he will be in the squad."

Man of the match Tom Rogic (Celtic)

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