Celtic tie goes ahead

Date published: Monday 5th January 2015 7:27 -

Around a third of the pitch is reportedly ‘unplayable’ after being damaged by recent hot weather in Azerbaijan.
But UEFA has told Sky Sports News HQ that the game will go ahead on Wednesday as planned, and there will be no change of venue.
Celtic’s assistant manager John Collins says his team will “just have to adapt” to the conditions.
The Scottish champions take a 1-0 lead to Baku thanks to a Dedryck Boyata goal from the first leg at Celtic Park last Wednesday.
Qarabag caught the eye in the first leg with a mixture of free-flowing football and slick passing and Collins believes they will be equally inconvenienced by the surface as his travelling squad.
Speaking at Glasgow Airport as the team prepared to fly out to Baku, the former Celtic and Scotland midfielder said: “At this level you expect the pitch to be of a good standard and if it isn’t we’ll just have to adapt our play.
“Our security are over there at the moment and they phoned me to say the pitch is not looking good but I don’t think the game will be in doubt.
“I’ve never heard of a game being cancelled or put off because the pitch is bumpy and it will be the same for both teams which has to be remembered.
“If it is bumpy then we will have to be a little bit more direct and adapt but they are a team who likes to pass the ball on the ground so it will affect them as much as it will us.”
The Azerbaijan Football Association said: “Yes, it’s not perfect. We admit that. But the groundsman is optimistic.”

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