Champions League: Malmo's Djurdjic happy with Celtic pairing

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
Nikola Djurdjic crashes to the turf under a challenge by Salzburg's David Atanga
Nikola Djurdjic crashes to the turf under a challenge by Salzburg's David Atanga

Malmo have a "really good" chance of reaching the Champions League group stage at Celtic's expense, according to striker Nikola Djurdjic.

The Serbian striker was on target as the Swedish champions turned around a 2-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Salzburg 3-2 on aggregate in the previous round.

"Celtic are really tough," said 29-year-old Djurdjic.

"But it's going to be fun and I think we have a really good chance."

Djurdjic said the Swedish champions will be aiming for an away goal in Wednesday's first leg at Celtic Park to help secure passage to the lucrative group stage.

"They play a typical British style of football - strong endurance, a lot of long balls," he said of the Glasgow side managed by Ronny Deila.

"I also know the coach there. I played against his clubs in Norway many times."

Malmo's Swedbank Stadion
Celtic will play at Malmo's Swedbank Stadion on Tuesday 25 August

Djurdjic, who had his first taste of the Swedish top flight with Helsingborgs during a loan spell in 2012, is with Malmo under the same terms from German Bundesliga club Augsburg.

"We have to score an goal away," said Djurdjic. "We didn't do that against Salzburg and that made it really hard for us.

"I think we have to score a goal in the away match."

Malmo may find this harder to achieve in Glasgow because of the suspension of striker and club captain Markus Rosenberg for the first leg.

Despite this, Djurdjic remains optimistic.

"We have a good chance," he said. "Celtic is a good team we can play against.

"We have to score an away goal. It will make it a lot easier for us and here in Malmo with our fans I think we can beat anybody."

Malmo were quite happy to be drawn against Celtic rather than the Swiss side among the seeds.

"We just didn't want Basel, because I think Basel is one class above the other clubs we could meet," added Djurdjic.

"So I think Celtic is just fair enough for us, a good opponent and I think our chances are 50-50."

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