BRENDAN RODGERS says he is desperate to take a good result with him when he and his team are granted a private audience with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Wednesday morning, saying it would be a ‘blessing’ to meet the Pontiff.

There is a little doubt over whether the scheduled meeting will now take place, with the Pope reportedly suffering from a lung infection.

But Rodgers is hoping that he is able to go ahead with his meeting with the Celtic players and staff, and if so, he wants to be able to deliver some good news about his team’s fortunes against Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico as they go in search of their first away win in the Champions League for six years.

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“That will be absolutely amazing,” Rodgers said.

“We would be blessed to do that, it would be a real privilege.

“Hopefully we can take a really nice result to the Vatican.”

Celtic themselves may need some divine intervention though to break their away curse in the competition, particularly as they go into the game against Lazio without some key attacking players.

There is a particular concern about the wide areas, with both Luis Palma and Daizen Maeda missing, meaning that the experience of James Forrest may be called upon at a venue where he scored in 2019.

The winger sat out the weekend draw with Motherwell with a glute problem, but has travelled to Italy.

“That’s how it is,” Rodgers said.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come in. It’s an opportunity for people to come off the bench and affect the game.

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“There will be players who maybe haven’t featured as much in the first couple of months, so now they get the chance, and they have to grab it.

“Liam Scales is the perfect example, a great example. He sat on the sidelines and took his opportunity and has shown consistently that he can deal with the pressure and the level and perform.

“James has scored here hasn’t he? He will be close, he will be close.

“We have gone into every game and started with confidence, and we aim to take that into every game.”