FC Copenhagen star Pierre Bengtsson was brought up watching Swedish countryman Henrik Larsson torment defenders for Celtic and he admits he fears the current generation of Hoops star could do the same to his team.

Celtic travel to the Danish capital for Thursday's Last 32 Europa League showdown to face Stale Sobakken's side and they could hardly have handpicked a better time to play them.

They looked extremely rusty during Friday night's defeat at relegation-haunted Esbjerg - their first game after two months in cold storage for the Danish season's winter break.

And they have to cope without several of their key stars including Viktor Fisher - who has played and netted against Celtic for Ajax - being injured for the tie.

Swedish international left back Bengtsson was one of Copenhagen's rare successes on Friday as they fell further behind Super League leaders FC Midtjylland.

Bengtsson used to watch Larsson run amok in Scottish football as a kid and fears a difficult night against a Celtic side he labels strong favourites. But he will ask two of his countrymen for advice on how to approach playing Celtic - former Hoops defender Mikael Lustig and Rangers defender Filip Helander.

He said: "The game on Friday was not the preparation we wanted for playing Celtic. Of course when you are in the middle of the season you have a better rhythm and we are obviously just back after our winter break. We are trying to find our feet again after a long break. I agree that the break makes it more difficult for us and Celtic certainly have an advantage because of that.

"We know the importance of the first leg. It's definitely an advantage being at home in the second leg so that's another bonus for Celtic. Away goals could be crucial in these games and we will be doing everything to stop them from taking an away goal back to Scotland.

"We don't want to concede and that's the most important thing for us on Thursday.

"I know Mikael Lustig played there for many years. I know all about Celtic and their traditions and of course, everyone knows how tough it will be to play at Celtic Park. They are also playing well and I accept they are strong favourites to qualify.

"I will ask Mikael for advice and tips before we travel to Scotland although I'm not sure he will want to help me. But we are very strong on preparation here and the video guys at the club will make sure we know all about Celtic by the time we play them.

"I remember Henrik Larsson well and of course his famous tongue celebration! Every Swede knows that. When I was growing up he was the hero in Sweden for what he did at Celtic.

"Also Johan Mjallby was there for a few years too so the Swedes were a major part of Celtic's success!

"I also know Filip Helander at Rangers and have played with him too. He's a good guy. Maybe I will ask him how to beat Celtic.

"I've never been to Celtic Park but of course I have heard all about it. I'm really looking forward to playing there at last. I'm excited to play there and it should be a nice experience."

The Danish champions have sold out their Parken Stadium for the first leg on Thursday and 29-times capped Sweden star Bengtsson reckons their fans aren't interested in any excuses the Danes may have - they will expect a win.

He pointed out: "We know what Celtic Park will be like, but we have sold out the Parken Stadium for the first leg too and don't forget that our fans can make a lot of noise too and create an intimidating atmosphere. We want to give our fans a night to remember.

"Our fans have big expectations when we play at home in a European game because we have a strong and proud history of big results at the Parken in Europe against big teams. Certainly, we are strong at home and our fans will expect us to put on a big performance against Celtic.

"We have a big belief we can win the game. For a club like ours, to go as far as we can in the Europa League is great and anything past this stage is a bonus.

"Celtic are the favourites for this tie to qualify and we are the underdogs. If we were to qualify it would be massive for us."