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Artificial pitch will be in Celtic’s favour against Bodo/Glimt, says Carl Starfelt

By December 13, 2021No Comments

Carl Starfelt believes Bodo/Glimt’s artificial pitch can help Celtic progress through their Europa Conference League play-off tie in February.

Ange Postecoglou’s side face a trip to Europe’s most northerly top-flight team after being drawn against the Norwegian champions on Monday.

Bodo/Glimt, who play in the Arctic Circle, finished second in their Conference League group, a point behind a Roma side they defeated 6-1 at home and then drew 2-2 with in Italy.

Swedish defender Starfelt, who has a good grasp on Scandinavian football, believes playing on a plastic surface in February – while their opponents are still in pre-season – will be preferable to playing on grass at that time of year.

He told the Celtic website: “It’s a tough draw. I’ve some friends playing in the Norwegian league, so I’ve been following them and I know it’s a very good team that has done very good over the past two seasons.

“They like to play a bit like ourselves, with lots of possession and a very high press. They have a lot of energy and like attacking football, so it will be an interesting tie with both teams trying to dominate the ball.

“They’ve had some good games in Europe against Roma, so it will be a tough game.

“They have an artificial pitch, but I think that can suit us as in Scandinavia at that time of the year you play on either very bad grass or artificial, so I will take that option.”

Celtic finished third in their Europa League group but were heartened by taking nine points from a tough section that included Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros. Starfelt hopes they can capitalise on their chance of further European football in the new Conference League.

He said: “We’re very excited to go into the Conference League. It’s a new competition and you don’t know too much about it, but you can see from the teams left that it’s a big one.

“We’re looking forward to it and hopefully we can progress as far as possible.”

Bodo/Glimt midfielder Ulrik Saltnes is relishing the prospect of another big European occasion for his team in the new year.

He told TV2Sport in Norway: “It is a good draw for us. It’s a fun away game at a cool stadium, and another big club coming to Aspmyra (Stadion). It will be a wonderful experience. It will be another fun chapter in the Glimt story.”