Two Celtic fans hospitalised after being stabbed outside Irish bar in Rome

Mark Runnacles  Getty Images Sport

Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi has insisted that this evening's Europa League clash against Celtic is nearly like a final for his side.

Around 9,000 Celtic fans are estimated to be travelling to the Italian capital to watch the Group E leaders potentially seal their place in the Europa League knockout stages, with a tense atmosphere expected between the two sets of supporters.

The Celtic fans stabbed are reportedly from Scotland and Germany, and their injuries are said to be not life-threatening.

An eyewitness has told Sky Sports News that a group of Celtic fans were drinking outside the pub when they were approached by four or five people wearing masks.

I really fear for Celtic and the best they can hope for is a draw - Lazio need three points if they want to get back into contention for qualification and they should get it on home soil.

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Celtic supporters and bar staff brought the victim inside the pub and they remained conscious while an ambulance was called.

The Italian club have previously pleaded with supporters to drop the offensive gesture having previously been punished for the salutes against Rennes and in the first leg in Glasgow against Celtic.

A statement released by the club says: "Celtic can confirm that two fans have been injured after being stabbed last night".

The club said: "There will be a prominent police presence throughout the city on the day prior to the match and on match day".

In 2013 two Roma fans were jailed for their part in a violent ambush on Tottenham Hotspur fans in the central Campo de Fiori district before Spurs' Europa League match with Lazio.

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