Deila plays down pitch concerns

12 August 2015 03:01:24 EST

Ronny Deila insists his Celtic side is stronger than it was 12 months ago and is confident they can knock Qarabag out of the Champions League.

Celtic won last week's third qualifying round first leg encounter against the side from Azerbaijan 1-0 but will have to cope with hot weather and a difficult pitch when they take on Qarabag in Baku on Wednesday.

Celtic are 1/6 to qualify for the next round and 9/2 to beat Qarabag 1-0 in the second leg to seal a 2-0 aggregate success.

It is not a perfect pitch but we are used to playing on those pitches in Scotland in the winter.

Ronny Deila

"We have a good opportunity here. I think we have done everything to make a good performance. It is hot here, especially during the day, and it's going to be hot during the game as well.

"It is not a perfect pitch but we are used to playing on those pitches in Scotland in the winter.

"We know that the Champions League is a tough competition. It's a new game, we are leading 1-0. We are confident that we are a better team now than we were last year. It's going to be tough but we are prepared."

Deila has also dismissed suggestions that Virgil van Dijk is heading to Southampton in a £7million switch. The Dutch defender moved to Glasgow from FC Groningen for £2.6million two years ago.

However, Deila insists Celtic are not interested in selling the 23-year-old, who joined Celtic two years ago for £2.6m from FC Groningen.

"They haven't bid. He is a top, top international player," added Deila.

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