Celtic will play Malmo in the Champions League play-off round, the third time since 2012 they will face champions from Sweden. The main concern for Ronny Deila is the manner in which Malmo disposed of Salzburg 3-0 on Wednesday night, but there is context to put that into. In the previous round the Swedes only managed a 0-0 at home to Lithuanians Zalgiris Vilnius, before winning 0-1 away.
Those three goals against Salzburg, which arrived inside 45 minutes, will be the subject of a lot of research over the next few days.
In 2013 Celtic struggled to blow away the cobwebs against Elfsborg, recording a 1-0 home win and a 0-0 draw away. A year earlier they beat Helsingborgs 2-0 home and away.
The most encouraging aspect for Ronny will be Malmo’s domestic form. They are current 6th in the Allsvenskan after 18 games and will struggle to qualify for Europe next season. A home game against league leaders Gothenburg on Sunday will be Celtic’s most important reconnaissance exercise.
Oh, and put out the flags, Malmo play on grass!!