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No surface tension for Neil over plastic pitch

NEIL LENNON played down the possible impact the Luzhniki Stadium's artificial surface might have on Celtic's chances in tonight's Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow.

ONLY skipper Scott Brown remains from the Parkhead team which drew 1-1 at the venue against the Russian side in a Champions League play-off match in 2007, under Gordon Strachan.

In August, Lennon's charges beat HJK Helsinki 2-0 on plastic in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier to go through 4-1 on aggregate and the Hoops boss believes that will have encouraged his players.

However, he also admits his tactics and personnel tonight may depend on exactly how the surface is playing.

"I don't think that (pitch) is going to be a problem," said the Irishman.

"We played on one in Helsinki and that experience will benefit us going into the game.

"It doesn't look to me as if it is a quick pitch and so it may adapt our thinking as to how we are going to play.

"But it shouldn't be a major problem, artificial pitches at this level are normally excellent."

Spartak are looking for their first points after losing 3-2 away to Barcelona in their opening game as the Scottish champions played out a goalless home draw against Benfica.


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