Icelandic champions, you say? Not much to worry about there, you would hope. But Stjarnan knocked Lech Poznan out of Europe last season, and Poznan went on to take the Polish league from our old pals Legia Warsaw, who were a pretty decent team last season.
Stjarnan were not nearly as good as Lech Poznan, nor were they as good as Motherwell, who they also put out of Europe a year ago, but get your close-season wrong (the Polish Ekstraklasa doesn’t break until June), and you’re out, no matter if it’s Stjarnan or Maribor on the match ticket.
Let me put it another way, I wouldn’t fancy St Johnstone against Stjarnan right now, and Saints won at Celtic Park as recently as March. A red card in the wrong place (need I remind you of Efe, big Dan?) and you’re in trouble.
I’ve not seen the new livery on Celtic Park, the photos of which look superb, so I’ll be along early tonight to drink in the summer atmosphere. There’s also the anticipation of looking forward to seeing a few new faces in competitive action for Celtic for the first time.
The most important performance of tonight will be from Dedryck Boyata. More than any other area of the team, defence is all about partnerships, so how quickly Dedryck fills the Jason Denayer gap will go a long way to determining whether Celtic qualify for the Champions League group stage this season.
Remember to swap out your old season ticket from your wallet with your NEW ticket!
Bring it on, Celtic.