Butcher: Celtic to progress

  • Last Updated: November 22 2012, 18:14 GMT

Inverness manager Terry Butcher believes Celtic are on course for "inevitable" qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Terry Butcher: Tipping Celtic

Celtic were close to sealing their place in the knockout stages on Tuesday night through the score draw they needed in Lisbon before Benfica defender Ezequiel Garay hit the winner in a 2-1 home victory.

Celtic now need to better Benfica's result in the final group game but have the less difficult task at home to Spartak Moscow while the Portuguese side travel to Barcelona.

Butcher is not overawed by a SPL trip to Celtic Park on Saturday but he is sure that the home side will go on to follow up their victory over Barcelona by completing their group campaign in style on December 5.

"It's been phenomenal," Butcher said.

"We all hoped they would get through on Tuesday but that defeat in Lisbon has postponed the inevitable really because I think they will beat Spartak at Parkhead in a couple of weeks time and go through.

"I can't see Benfica going to the Nou Camp and winning but you never know.

"But I'm sure Celtic will get that result that's needed to take them through. To do that will be a magnificent achievement.

"They were almost there in Lisbon, there was a good period when they were in the last 16 and were drawing the match but Benfica just popped up with a good goal at the end to nick it. They were that close to making it and I'm sure they will do.

"They have been tremendous and it has been great to watch their European adventure, especially the games against Barcelona. I think they have learned a heck of a lot from those games too."

Celtic's victory over Barcelona stunned the football world but Inverness have been one of the surprise packages in Scotland, before last weekend.

Caley Thistle went 10 games unbeaten despite losing a number of experienced players in the summer, although they were brought crashing back to earth on Sunday with a 5-1 home defeat by Motherwell.

Butcher said: "It's a daunting daunting task for us to go and to play against a team that could be in the last 16 or will be in the last 16 of the Champions League, and to go there and try to beat them on their own patch.

"But then again we have that every season and it's something

that doesn't faze us, but something we should look forward to doing."

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