RED Bull Salzburg striker Munas Dabbur has shrugged off any conspiracy theorists who may have glanced at Europa League Group B with a knowing eye.

With Salzburg and Leipzig owned by global energy drinks firm Red Bull, there has been sufficient cause to offer forth a suggestion that the duo will contrive to engineer a quiet wink with one another in order to ensure qualification into the latter stages of Europe’s second tier tournament.

“This is totally crazy. This is football and nobody thinks like that,” insisted the striker with wide-eyed, open-palmed innocence.

Celtic head to Trondheim on Thursday evening to take on whipping boys Rosenborg who are currently propping up the group without a point but there will be as much interest in what happens in Austria between group leaders Salzburg and Bundesliga side Leipzig.

Leipzig and Celtic sit on six points apiece but with the German side boasting a superior goal difference they hold the edge on Brendan Rodgers’ side going into the penultimate game of the group.

The moral ramifications of teams who share an owner competing in the same group is difficult to ignore but Dabbur has maintained that for those pulling on the boots rather than the shirts and ties it is all about having the upper hand on the pitch.

“I don’t think anybody would think about doing something like that,” he said about a carve up. “Of course both clubs have good relations but there is nothing like that. This week both clubs will try to win the game and I hope we do it.

“It’s something special for everyone at both clubs. We speak about it sometimes and joke a little bit but when it comes to the football it is serious. Over 90 minutes both teams want to win. It’s special of course but we don’t want to think about that.”

Celtic’s win over Leipzig in Glasgow this month opened the group up and Dabbur admitted the victory for Rodgers’ side caused a ripple of surprise in the Salzburg dressing room. While the result itself was an eye opener, for Rodgers’ side it was the performance that went with it that has sewn the seeds for optimism that they could secure European football beyond Christmas.

The ideal scenario for Celtic is that by the time they conclude their group campaign against Salzburg early next month that they Austrian side will have already guaranteed their passage into the next phase of the tournament, meaning the game in Glasgow doesn’t carry the same weight for them.

“We knew also that Celtic at home is a different game, different football,” said Dabbur. “I didn’t see Celtic’s game against Leipzig but I am sure they are not going to make it easy for us in Glasgow. We need to finish the thing against Leipzig. We hope that by the time we come to Glasgow we will have qualified. That is our hope.”

Interestingly, Dabbur has seen two sides of Celtic winger James Forrest. If there has been a blot on what is otherwise an impeccable copybook this season for the 27-year-old winger it came with his red card over in Austria as Celtic crumbled to a 3-1 defeat at the beginning of October. It was a different Forrest on show at Hampden last week as he netted a hat-trick against Dabbur’s Israeli side with the striker confessing to an admiration of the in-form Celtic player.

“I think he is a great player. I love his style,” he enthused. “Against us it was difficult for Celtic because we played a good game. Even though we conceded a goal early we did really well. I wish him good luck but I hope he will not score against us in the next game.”

Celtic’s much discussed disco lights got their inaugural airing in the win over Leipzig. Whether there remains a stage to dance on a European context remains to be seen but keeping it live until that conclusive game will be the aim this week.

“I have two friends who have played there [Celtic Park] in Beram Kayal and Nir Bitton,” Dabbur said. “They have told me about the atmosphere there and I am looking forward to it.”