No pitch concerns for Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Celtic Manager Ronny Deila

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Celtic manager Ronny Deila insists he is not concerned by the state of the pitch ahead of his side’s Champions League qualifier with Qarabag on Wednesday night.

The Bhoys hold a slender 1-0 advantage going into the second leg of the tie in Baku following a late Dedryck Boyata goal at Celtic Park last week, but they will face a tough test in the Azerbaijani capital, soaring temperatures having left part of the pitch damaged at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.

The severity of the damage had originally led UEFA to ban either side from training on the pitch ahead of the clash, but they have since reversed their decision and Deila is confident his side can adapt to the testing conditions.

He said: “It is not a perfect pitch, of course, but it is a pitch and we are used to playing in those types of pitches in Scotland in the winter so we have to make the best of the situation.”

The 39-year-old believes preparations for the tie against the Azerbaijani champions have gone well and he is hopeful his side can put in the kind of performance that will see them secure a place in the play-off round for Europe’s premier club competition.

He continued: “Everything has been perfect. The plane journey was shorter than normal, the hotel is fantastic and it will be good that the sun will be away. We have done everything we can to put in a good performance.”

The Scottish champions will be without Charlie Mulgrew for the match as he continues to struggle with a knee problem, but they will be able to welcome back Nadir Ciftci and Emilio Izaguirre, who both missed the weekend victory over Ross County due to domestic suspensions.

The Hoops have been installed as the 2.40 favourites to win the match in Baku whilst the hosts are on offer at 3.00 and the draw is an outside bet at 3.10.

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