LEIGH GRIFFITHS, last season’s top scorer, has yet to start a European tie for Celtic during this campaign.
Nadir Ciftci, serving a six-game domestic ban for an incident while playing for Dundee United, has been given the nod to lead the attack for the four games against Stjarnan and Qarabag.
But Griffiths, displaying his new-found maturity, said: “If I’m playing, I’m delighted and if I’m on the bench, I’m raring to come on.

“You always have to be on your toes, especially at a big club like Celtic, and whenever the manager needs me I’m always raring to go.

“It just proves how far I have come. The main target is to start European games but if the gaffer wants to start Nadir that’s fine by me.”

The 24-year-old is desperate to help the Hoops negotiate past Malmo in the play-off round and have a crack at the Champions League group stages.

He said: “When we play away from home, especially, teams are going to attack you more in the Champions League.

“In that lone striking role, your touch, hold-up play and link-up play has to be pin-point or else teams will punish you and we will be out of Europe.

“Regardless of who you play against, the lone striking role is a tireless job, you have to make selfless runs and do your bit for the team.

“You are playing against top players in Champions League and, no disrespect to SPFL, but it’s a step up in class.

“At a club like Celtic, the lure of Champions League football is massive and we want to get there after being disappointed last season.

“The Premiership is our priority, but the Champions League is also a big thing for us and we have two very difficult games coming up against Malmo.

“The manager will have us well prepared for them, though, and we will go into both games looking to win.”
While everyone would agree that the decision on who leads the line against Malmo in the forthcoming crucial Champions League Qualifiers, we thought it would be interesting to discover which of the two strikers the support would like to see starting these matches – assuming only one does. You can vote below and check back to see the results…
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