Celtic will face FC Alashkert of Armenia in their opening Champions League qualifier on Tuesday evening and midfielder James Forrest is ready for a hot and humid evening.
The Hoops have had 48 hours to acclimatise to the searing July heat before beginning their quest to reach the lucrative group stages of Europe’s elite competition for the third season running.
A tie against Norway’s Rosenborg or Valur of Iceland is the prize for overcoming FC Alashkert for Brendan Rodgers’ team. Given the conditions, 27-year-old Forrest admits Celtic are fully aware they will have to alter their style.
“We came here two days before the game, which is much better preparation than, say, being here 24 hours before and trying to adjust to the heat and everything else,” said Forrest.
“Our staff behind the scenes are brilliant.
This might be a different type of game to what we are used to but, again, that is part of learning about European football.
“I don’t think it is possible for us to play our way for 90 minutes over here. The manager has said for us to be smart and to pick our times when to go 100 per cent, when there are other times we need to be compact as a team.”
Alashkert might not be a known name in European football but Forrest and his team-mates are not anticipating an easy time of things.
“They are in their national stadium up against Celtic, which means every single one of them will be raring to go. We fully expect a tough game,” he added.
Celtic are 5.00 to win 2-0 against Alashkert on Tuesday evening.