Thursday 27 October 2016

Deila: We can cope with Stjarnan's plastic pitch

Ronny Deila insists Celtic will have no problems adapting to Stjarnan's plastic pitch and tiny ground in their Champions League qualifier tonight.

The Scottish champions flew into Iceland with a 2-0 lead from the first-leg of the second qualification tie against the part-timers at Parkhead last week.

However, the Hoops' 60,000 capacity stadium in the east end of Glasgow stands in stark contrast with Stjarnan's 1,000-capacity Samsungvoller ground which has an artificial pitch and only one stand.

At the pre-match press conference, home boss Runar Pall Sigmundsson claimed it will be a "mental thing" for Celtic to play on his side's pitch and hoped to make it "hot" for the visitors.

Half an hour later, Deila, who revealed Nadir Ciftci's six-game domestic ban for biting before his summer move to Celtic from Dundee United was accepted to allow the Turkish striker to "move on", responded to the Stjarnan manager's view.

"He has to take a trip to Scotland and look at some games there," said the Norwegian. "I don't think he knows what Scotland is about. It is not only Celtic Park in Scotland.

"He can go to Inverness and Ross County, places not so different from this one.


"And I am very positive about artificial surfaces.

Virgil van Dijk returns to the squad following suspension. Midfielder Kris Commons (toe) and Callum McGregor (ankle) remain out.

stjarnan v celtic, ko 8.15

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