Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has expressed his relief that the Hoops are not returning to Nothern Ireland to face Linfield in this season’s Champions League qualifies.
Last season Griffiths had a bottle thrown at him from the crowd and was censured by UEFA after tying a scarf to a goalpost in what was a very hostile atmosphere for the Hoops.
“I was praying we didn’t get them” Griffiths said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“I’m not sure I would have got in and out without a police escort.
The 27-year-old is delighted that the main problem the Bhoys will face when they go to Armenia to face Alashkert is the oppressive temperatures.
“Broony will need the factor 50 on his head, but we will just need to adapt to the conditions.”
Football Insider verdict
Leigh Griffiths might not have wanted another clash with Linfield, but footballing wise it does seem to be a much easier tie than the upcoming trip to Armenia. The heat the Bhoys will need to deal with against Alashkert will naturally be far worse than anything they will have to deal with against Linfield, and you would imagine that the game will be a much tougher prospect as well. However, the Hoops should still be good enough to get the job done over the two legs against the Armenian champions, and should he be selected Griffiths will be a key man for the Bhoys. He has often done well in the early stages of Europe for the Hoops, but with Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard around there must be a doubt that he will start for the Bhoys when they begin their Champions League qualification process in July. Still, he knows how to find the back of the next against the ‘lesser’ sides, and it would be no shock if Brendan Rodgers started him in Armenia.
In other Celtic news, a Hoops player is on the verge of signing a new deal with the Bhoys