AIK could have stand closed for potential Celtic clash

By Hamish Carton

August 15, 2019

Celtic could be in for a bit of a bizarre scenario if they face AIK in the next round of Europa League qualifying.

The Swedish champions still have to complete the job in their third round tie against FC Sheriff. They lead 2-1 from the first leg in Moldova and will seal a big clash against Celtic if they come through unscathed on Thursday night.

(Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

But they could be hamstrung for the home clash against the Hoops on 29th August after it was reported that they face a partial stadium closure from UEFA. Their terrific ground – the Friends Arena – is set to have its Northern Stand shut according to the Daily Record.

They say that it’s down to a dispute between police and some unsavoury problems at the recent Champions League qualifier against Maribor.

UEFA will make their decision on the 22nd August – the date of the first leg. Any potential closure is understood not to affect visiting supporters.

(Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Celtic must ready themselves for AIK or Sheriff

It’s pretty difficult to even motivate yourself for another stint in the Europa League. The nature of the defeat against Cluj has left a bitter taste in the mouth and the truth is that a lot of Celtic fans simply don’t care about the other European trophy.

A potential qualifier against the Swedes would be far from easy. They were perilously close to coming through their Champions League clash against Maribor and Celtic fans know first hand how tricky they can be.

They also sit second at the midway stage of the Swedish Allsvenskan – a pretty competitive league. The fact they have the likes of Seb Larsson and Kolbeinn Sigþórsson will only add further intrigue as to what to expect.

(Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Celtic can’t afford to feel sorry for themselves. The Europa League isn’t exactly where we want to be but it can get very interesting as the season goes on. The atmosphere in the recent knockout matches against Zenit and Valencia has rivalled anything at Celtic Park in recent years and shows that the competition does have some value.

It just may not feel like it right now.