Cocky Malmö coach Age Hareide has boasted that drawing Celtic in the UEFA Champions League play-off qualifier is the ‘perfect’ draw for the Swedish champions.
Speaking to the official Malmo website following the draw, Hareide said: “It is absolutely perfect! I have faced Celtic once before in Play Off to the Champions League when I was coach of Helsingborg. Then we had a bad number after we lost 0-2 in the home game.
“If only we can get a good starting position after the match in Scotland so we have good experience of doing good result here in Malmö. It feels like their way of playing suits us very well and we have an eye on Celtic. I watched some of them last year and now we will be able to see them on Wednesday.”
Hareide, who was appointed Malmö manager after current Celtic manager Ronny Deila rejected the position in January 2014, was manager of Helsingborg in 2012 when then-manager Neil Lennon led his side to a 4-0 aggregate victory over the Swedes.
Just like three years ago, Hareide is confident that his side are better than their opponents and will be looking to prove that once and for all at the second time of asking.
Malmö are currently sixth in the Swedish Allsvenskan, seven points behind league leaders IFK Göteborg. In the previous round they fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Salzburg before three goals scored in the first half of the second leg at home, saw Malmö progress to the playoff round.
Hareide will have to do without midfielders Enoch Adu and Markus Rosenborg who are suspended for the first leg against Celtic on August 19th.