Celtic boss Neil Lennon hopes Thursday's Europa League clash with Lazio will be counted among the "great European nights" at Celtic Park.

The Scottish champions head into the game sitting top of Group E after beating Cluj and drawing with Rennes in their opening two matches.

They are also in good domestic form, having beaten Ross County 6-0 in their last league outing.

Lennon told his pre-match press conference: "I think it's a great game for all the fans to look forward to, and certainly the players.

"We've made a great start to the group, we're playing very well and off the back of a great victory at the weekend, the anticipation is building for this game.

"It's hopefully going to be one of those great European nights here at Celtic Park." 

Lennon wants Thursday's clash to be "a celebration of football" and is hopeful the game is not marred by racism.

Next month's trip to face Lazio in Rome will be subject to a partial stadium closure after the Italian club were charged with racist behaviour by UEFA.

Lennon said: "I'm hoping tomorrow is a celebration of football between two great clubs. In the main I think Lazio have a great support. There are always a minority who want to overshadow the game, make noise for the wrong reasons or put a stain on the game.

"I'm hoping that's not going to be the case tomorrow night. I'm hoping at the end of the game we're talking about the great atmosphere against two great sides playing in a great game of football.

"There is an underbelly now of racism, not just in Italy but we're seeing it in eastern Europe as well and we want to eradicate that as quickly as possible because I have a duty of care to my players and I want them protected.

"They're here to play football, it doesn't matter what the colour of their skin is or what their background is. They're here to play for Celtic and as far as we're concerned we're a club that's open to everybody."