Champions League: Celtic and Malmo 50-50, says Kari Arnason

Malmo midfielder Kari Arnason
Kari Anderson is looking forward to the atmosphere at Celtic Park
Champions League play-off, first-leg: Celtic v Malmo
Venue: Celtic Park Date: 19 August Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland MW & DAB digital and live text on BBC Sport website

Celtic and Malmo are evenly matched opponents going into their Champions League play-off, according to the Swedish side's Kari Arnason.

"Obviously, Celtic is the bigger team, they get bigger crowds and they've been in Europe a lot more times than Malmo," said the Iceland international.

"But if you look at the quality of the teams, I think it's 50-50.

"It will be very tough to get a result in Glasgow but we are positive. We go into every game with confidence."

Arnason knows Celtic from the 2011-12 season he spent with Aberdeen and is looking forward to Wednesday's first leg.

"I think everyone knows Parkhead is one of the better stadiums in Europe and the atmosphere is unlike anything else," he added.

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Interviews - Berget and Arnason

"My job is to help keep a clean sheet and that's what we'll look to do. If we can nick a goal and keep the damage at our end to a minimum, that would be perfect."

Jo Inge Berget is another Malmo player familiar with Celtic after a brief loan period in 2014.

"It's two teams who want to get through to the next round and I think it's going to be exciting," he said.

"We expect to get a good result for our home game. We turned about 2-0 against Salzburg [in the previous round] but hopefully we get a better result than that."

Malmo sit fifth in Swedish Allsvenskan, with 10 wins from 20 league matches and they eliminated Zalgiris Vilnius before a 3-2 aggregate success over Salzburg.

"We've been better at home than away, that's for sure," continued Berget.

"We need a good game here because Celtic are a good team and they will punish us if we're not on our toes."

The 24-year-old Norway midfielder made eight appearances for the Scottish champions, scoring twice, with both goals coming in a 6-1 victory over Dundee United.

"It didn't really work out and it was best for both parties that I went on," he said reflecting on his time in Glasgow.

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