EXCLUSIVE

Jackie McNamara says that the artificial surface at Hamilton could make Saturday’s visit to New Douglas Park a difficult test for Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Hoops and Scotland star says that Neil Lennon’s men will not be relishing playing on the plastic turf and that it could make a notable difference in the lunchtime kick-off.

Hamilton are one of three sides in Scotland’s top flight who do not have a grass pitch at their stadium, with Kilmarnock and Livingston also make use of an artificial playing surface.

McNamara says that adapting to the demands of a plastic pitch could prove to be the biggest task for Lennon and his side and that there will not be many Celtic players out there on Saturday afternoon who will be looking forward to it.

The former Bhoy told Football Insider: “It will be interesting to see how he looks at the Celtic side. It’s a difficult fixture only because of the surface that Hamilton have.

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“Not a lot of players will like playing on that. (Will Lennon rotate the squad?) He’s done that in games before but he’s got plenty of time until Thursday. Whether or not he thinks some of them have had too much football, or maybe there’s someone he thinks he doesn’t want to risk him through injury.

“He should have enough time from Saturday to Thursday.” 

Celtic have a 100 per cent record in the Premiership so far, having beaten fierce rivals Rangers at Ibrox in their last outing before the international break.

Their trip to Hamilton will be followed up by the first game of the Europa League group stages, the Hoops heading to France to take on Stade Rennais on Thursday.

In other Celtic news, McNamara has told Football Insider that a Hoops defender could make his first start for the club on Saturday.