Stefan Johansen: Celtic are better than dangerous Molde

Stefan Johansen Celtic

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Midfielder Stefan Johansen says Celtic should be confident going into the Europa League double-header with Molde because the Scottish League is stronger than its Norwegian counterpart.

The Norway international insists that is the reason he made the switch to Glasgow but he is respectful ahead of a return to his homeland on Thursday.

Molde have been the surprise package in Group A to date, picking up four points from two games – away at Fenerbahce and home to Ajax.

Most pundits had expected the Norwegian team to struggle but they are so far the only one of the four sides to record a win.

Despite that, Johansen says Celtic are the better team.

“This is the reason why I went from Norway to Scotland. The league is stronger,” he said. “Celtic are a better team than Molde and the Scottish League is in my eyes a notch up from the Tippeligaen.”

Celtic have thrown away winning positions in both Europa League games so far this season.

A late goal in Amsterdam saw them settle for a 2-2 draw having been reduced to ten men, while they allowed Fenerbahce to claw back a point in Glasgow despite leading 2-0 after little more than half an hour.

It was ‘personal mistakes’ that cost Celtic in Glasgow, according to Johansen, who says this Europa League group would not be out of place in the Champions League.

“Just because we are in the Europa League does not mean the standard is bad when you see the teams we face,” he added. “This easily could have been a group in the Champions League.”

Celtic are 2.40 to get their first victory of the competition in Norway while a third successive 2-2 draw is 12.00.

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