Veteran midfielder Seb Larsson says his AIK side are in the midst of “an exciting time” as they prepare to take on Celtic this Thursday.
The Swedish champions take on Neil Lennon’s men in Glasgow this week before hosting the Hoops a week later at the Friends Arena just outside of Stockholm.
And former Premier League player Larsson has been opening up on his first stint in his homeland.
“I returned last summer and I left Sweden at 16 so it was the first time ever I have played professional football in Sweden,” he told Chronicle Live.
“We won the league last year for the first time in nine years which was fantastic and this year we are sitting third now, challenging for the title again.
“We are now up against Celtic in the Europa League so it is an exciting time for the club.
“It was a proud moment for me and the family to go back and enjoy life in Sweden. For me to have the opportunity, when I still have a few years left and feel fresh, to give back to football in Sweden.”
Can Larsson help AIK to shock win?
The Swedes aren’t to be taken lightly. They are the defending champions of the Allsvenskan and in the running to make it two-in-a-row. They currently sit in third place, four points off leaders and big rivals Djurgarden. Malmo are also in the running while so are Hammarby in fourth place.
However, Celtic will be able to take confidence from AIK’s recent European history. The Scandinavian outfit haven’t made it to the group stage of either European competition since 2012. This is their sixth successive season in Europe but the only time they’ve reached the Europa League play-off round.
They exited this year’s Champions League to Maribor before the Slovenians were thrashed 6-2 on aggregate by Rosenborg. Perhaps that gives an indication of their level in comparison to ourselves.