Griffiths prioritising Champions League group stage

Forward Leigh Griffiths is hoping to play a key role as Celtic bid to make it through to the Champions League group stage.

Forward Leigh Griffiths is hoping to play a key role as Celtic bid to make it through to the Champions League group stage.

The Bhoys have booked their place in the last 32 of Europe’s premier club competition in two of the last three years, but they missed out last season after losing to AEK Athens in qualifying.

Neil Lennon’s made a strong start to this year’s qualifying campaign after comfortably seeing off Bosnian champions FK Sarajevo in the first-qualifying round and they will now take on Nomme Kalju of Estonia over two legs.

The first-leg of that tie is due to take place at Parkhead on Wednesday and Griffiths knows it is important Celtic try and build a big lead to take to Estonia, but he insists no one will be underestimating their relatively unknown opponents.

‘It’s going to be a difficult game,’ Griffiths told the Celtic website.

‘Not a lot of people have heard of the Estonian side, but I’m sure they’ll be well-drilled and will think they can come here and get a big result.

‘We need to make the home advantage count.

We need to play positively, play on the front foot and try to take a sizeable lead over there.

‘ Griffiths returned to competitive action after a seven-month absence against Sarajevo last week and he is hoping to play a key role for Celtic over the coming season, not least as he wants to help fire the Glasgow giants to the Champions League group stage.

‘First and foremost, I want to get the club to Champions League group stage,’ the 28-year-old added.

‘I have a good record of scoring goals in these big games.

Hopefully I get the chance to do that and then play as many minutes as possible.

‘ Griffiths has scored 10 Champions League goals for Celtic in the past and punters may choose to use their free bet to back the Scotland star to strike on Wednesday night.

Latest