Having led his side on an unbeaten eight-match run since his appointment as Aalborg coach last month, Allan Kuhn has confidently declared that his side will score when they meet Celtic tonight.
The Danish champions have won four and drawn four since Kuhn replaced Bruce Rioch and twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Villarreal last time out.
“Celtic are a strong team but they do concede goals,” said the coach. “I feel sure we will score against them and, if we play like we did against Villarreal, then we have a good chance of winning. It is always important to score the first goal and if you do that in the Champions League, it gives the players a lot of confidence. That will be important on Tuesday because it’s a really big match for both teams.”
AaB will be without defender Michael Beauchamp, ruled out for the rest of the year with a knee problem, but Anders Due could recover in time from an ankle knock to play.
Victory for either side would guarantee third spot in the section and a place in the UEFA Cup, as well as maintaining a remote chance of progressing to the last 16 providing the Villarreal-Manchester United match is not drawn.
Celtic’s hopes of securing a first away Champions League victory at the 20th attempt have been boosted by the return of Georgios Samaras from a knee injury and, possibly, winger Aiden McGeady after a calf strain.
“The return of George is great; he has a presence and can get goals,” said manager Gordon Strachan. “It’s also good to get Aiden back. Games in the Champions League are often won with terrific bits of skills and he has that.”
Celtic are still without a number of first-team players due to injury, including Massimo Donati, Marc Crosas and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink.
“We’ve had a few injuries over the last couple of months and we’ve dealt with it all admirably,” added Strachan. “Hopefully, we can do the same again and put out a team that can cause Aalborg problems.”