Celtic make interesting pre-match decision ahead of Bodo/Glimt clash

By David Walton

February 22, 2022

Celtic have taken the interesting decision not to train at Bodo/Glimt’s Aspmyra Stadium before their Europa Conference League second-leg clash on Thursday night.

The Hoops go into the last-32 clash 3-1 down after a shocker of a night at Celtic Park last week. With the away goal rule scrapped, Celtic will stay in the tie so long as they score 2 goals without reply in Norway.

The Aspmyra stadium, which holds under 5,000 supporters, is a different surface than what we’re used to of course. Indeed, Bodo/Glimt play their home games on a plastic surface – a much more difficult turf acclimatise to than that of Celtic Park.

Photo by Georgi Paleykov/NurPhoto via Getty Images

But Bodo/Glimt have confirmed on their official website that Celtic won’t be training in Norway. Something that Jose Mourinho’s Roma also decided before their 6-1 mauling at the Aspmyra.

The decision has left Norwegian pundits confused. TV/radio outlet NRK’s football expert Carl-Erik Torp believes it’s a “strange” decision but that it may be down to the weather conditions [NRK].

NRK state that heavy winds and sleet showers are on the cards, along with potential storms up the coastline. It looks like tough conditions are indeed on the cards for Ange Postecoglou’s side.

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Celtic know how to play on plastic pitches – Aspmyra shouldn’t take them by surprise

Some may think it’s too dismissive, but it’s not integral for Celtic to train on the Aspmyra. Sure, it would’ve been ideal to get a feel of the pitch before the tie, especially with so many plastic surfaces being different. But it’s not truly essential.

After all, Ange and his team will get a good feel for the pitch pre-match during their warm-up. It’s not as if our style is going to change based on the surface. We play the exact same way regardless of the conditions.

Of course, it’s one of those things that comes back to bite the manager and players if we struggle on the night. If we lose comfortably and struggle to create similar to how we did last week, then it’s easy ammunition. But Celtic have got to weigh up the benefits.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic of course have an artificial surface available at Lennoxtown. It’s not something we shouldn’t be used to. If we go out on Thursday, it won’t be because we didn’t test the surface beforehand.

If we do manage a miracle and go through by 3 clear goals, it’ll be one heck of an achievement. Another feather in Postecoglou’s cap. But as things stand, all we really want is for the team to go out and show a better side to them than what they produced last week.

And whether we do or not won’t be dependent on us training on the surface beforehand. It’s a lazy narrative.

In other news, Giorgos Giakoumakis discloses his big Celtic target for 2022