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Celtic Plan To Shackle Pirlo

Glasgow Celtic are hatching a plot to stop Juventus star Andre Pirlo in the Champions League tonight.

The Scottish giants outdid themselves to make it into the last-16 from their group, which included Barcelona.

But if they want to progress further in the competition, they will have to find a way to stop the Italian champions in their tracks.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown knows his team have a tough task ahead of them, especially if they are to shackle Pirlo, who he deems “one of the best ever” players.

But if Celtic can keep Pirlo off the ball, Brown says, they will have a chance of shocking The Old Lady to her core.

"Whenever I have played against Pirlo it has been hard," said Brown, ahead the first-leg clash between Celtic and Juve.

"Maybe he is getting older now and we can catch him. We need to stop him from playing. He has fantastic ability on the ball. He is one of the greats.

"It was my first Champions League game when I played against him when he was with AC Milan. I played against him after that as well, for Scotland against Italy.

"He is a very gifted player, one of the best ever. He still ran the Euros for Italy last year. He has maybe lost his legs a little bit but he still has all the ability and vision with the ball at his feet to make those passes."

Brown says Celtic have done their research, and it does appear as if Neil Lennon’s game plan will be to deny Pirlo the time and space to dictate the play.

"We have watched a lot of DVDs about Juventus recently and he [Pirlo] is certainly the one who seems to make them tick," said Brown.

"He seems to get on the ball a lot and passes long and short. He also has the ability to beat a man, while his free-kicks and shooting are really good as well.

"I think if we can put a guy on him to stop him from playing it will help us a lot. Would I enjoy going up directly against him? Of course I would. It would be great but I will have to see if I am in the team."

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