McDonald: We must attack

Celtic's Australian striker Scott McDonald has urged his club to go on the offensive on Tuesday to salvage their slim European hopes.

Celtic have won 11 matches in a row in the Scottish Premier League since their defeat in the first Old Firm derby at the end of August. But the Scottish champions have so far only collected two points from a possible 12 in their Champions League Group E campaign. And Australian international McDonald says their impressive domestic form will count for nothing if they can't end their poor away form in the Champions League.

"I don't think our league form counts for much," said McDonald. "We should go with what we know best and that is attacking football. At times, when we have tried to defend, it has been our Achilles heel."

Celtic's away record in Europe has been dismal, and anything but a win against Danish champions Aalborg could see the Hoops crash out of the elite European tournament before Christmas. A win would assure Celtic of third spot in Group E and a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup, but any other result would give Gordon Strachan's men a mountain to climb in their final match at home to Villarreal in December.

McDonald played a vital part in Celtic's 3-1 win over St Mirren on Saturday, which maintained the Parkhead club's four point lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Different circumstances
Meanwhile, Tuesday's opponents Aalborg notched up a convincing 3-0 win away to Vejle in the Danish first division. And while former Motherwell striker McDonald acknowledged Celtic would be buoyed by recent good form domestically, his teammates would have to be more positive if they want to end their dreadful away form in Europe.

"Yes, you will be confident because you are playing well, so hopefully we can take that to Aalborg, but it is different circumstances and a different type of football," said McDonald. "We will get out heads round that, look forward to it and hopefully break our duck. The league is one thing, but obviously Europe is a totally different thing."

Celtic will want a better result against Aalborg than the last time they met in the opening Group E match at Parkhead, when they played out a goalless draw. The Parkhead side's only other point in the campaign so far came in an impressive 1-1 home draw against current European champions Manchester United.

Gordon Strachan will be sweating on the fitness of a number of players in his squad. Striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is still ruled out, while midfielder Massimo Donati has been added to the injury list after breaking a toe in training.

Paul Hartley was an unused substitute in Saturday's match against St Mirren after picking up an injury on international duty with Scotland, and is a doubt to make the starting 11 in Denmark. The Hoops boss will give former Barcelona star Marc Crosas and last year's player of the year Aiden McGeady chances to prove their fitness before the match.