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‘WE’RE READY FOR EUROPE,’ GARY MACKAY-STEVEN

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Gary Mackay-Steven, already displaying some fine form, believes Celtic are well prepared for this season’s ‘Great Champions League Adventure’.

The Hoops kick off their bid to reach the group stage with the visit of Icelandic side Stjarnan at Parkhead on Wednesday night.This second round qualifier is the first of three hurdles the four-in-a-row SPFL champions must overcome to secure a place among Europe’s elite.

Ronny Deila’s men warmed up for the first leg with a 1-0 win over La Liga outfit Real Sociedad at St Mirren Park on Friday evening.

Mackay-Steven grabbed the only goal of the game in an impressive performance and he feels the Hoops are ready for a vital clash that will shape the forthcoming campaign.

The winger said: “Friday night was another tough opponent, but we are definitely feeling fitter and sharper. It was a good test for us.

“We have been working on a few things in training and have definitely had good work-outs in the three pre-season games. So I’m sure we will be ready for Wednesday.

“It’s going well and I’m gearing up for the game against Stjarnan. I’m really excited.

“I came back to pre-season with no injuries, so I’m happy and looking forward to the season. I’m feeling good.”

Deila has been busy in the transfer market this summer with the additions of central defender Dedryck Boyata, striker Nadir Ciftci, right-back Saidy Janko and goalkeeper Logan Bailly.

Ciftci, who showed up well in his 22 minutes of action against Davie Moyes’ side in Paisley, has a chance of facing the Icelanders.
However, it is more likely Deila will start the tie with Leigh Griffiths as his lone striker in his favoured 4-2-3-1 system.
The Norwegian is pondering his line-up and admitted: “Ciftci gives us an option. He’s available and we’ll see what happens.”
 
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