Football / Celtic / Champions League
Celtic will rise to the occasion in Athens tonight
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths believes Celtic can go and get a positive result in tonight’s cauldron in Athens.
Speaking to the media he and his fellow teammates have overcome high-pressure situations before in recent history and can’t wait for the match.
Last week’s first-leg saw Brendan Rodgers’ side take an early lead at in Glasgow thanks to another important goal from Scotland International player Callum McGregor. But the Greek champions struck a crucial blow just before halftime when Viktor Klonaridis leveled the scoring on the night.
Griffiths conceded that losing a goal was a blow for Celtic but the 27-year-old insisted he and his team-mates were full of belief that they would find the back of the net in the Olympic Stadium in Athens and go through to the play-off round.
“You could say they have the advantage, especially with the away goal but we, as a team, are more than capable of scoring an away goal ourselves,” said the Hoops forward speaking to the media in Athens.
“Last week we proved that, even under the circumstances with the game at 1-1, we were still pushing for the second goal. Given the quality of the squad we have, we are confident that we will score.”
AEK proved difficult to break down at Paradise last week, although Celtic still managed to create several clear-cut goal scoring opportunities.
With Champions League football hanging in the balance, Celtic have everything to play for but Griffiths insisted that the pressure would not impact on the task in hand.
“Champions League football sets the standard for the season,” he said. “These ties are never easy. You’ve seen that in previous years when we’ve tried to qualify and didn’t.
“The last two years we have qualified against teams of a good stature. This is no different. We’ll look to come here and get a positive result.
“We’re under no illusions that it’s always difficult at the start of the season but we’ve shown over the last couple of years that we can qualify under that pressure.
“There’s pressure in every game when you play for this club, regardless of whether it’s the league, cup, Champions League or Europa League.
“There’s always pressure to get the result from myself, from the manager and from the fans. This is a big game but, with the squad we have, we’re more than capable of getting the result and going through to the next round.”
SUPPORTERS can watch every minute of the action from the AEK Athens away leg, and support the Hoops from the comfort of the Kerrydale Bar at Celtic Park with a live screening of the game.