Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady emotional about Celtic reunion
Tuesday 02 October 2012
Aiden McGeady will experience a "strange feeling" when he lines up for Spartak Moscow against former club Celtic in the Champions League tonight.
The Russian side host Neil Lennon's team on the artificial turf of the Luzhniki Stadium and McGeady, who signed from Celtic in 2010 for £9.5m, will have to contend with mixed emotions at facing his boyhood heroes.
"It'll be the first time I've faced Celtic," the winger said. "I try to catch most Celtic games on TV and I keep up to date with what's going on online. But, obviously, I'm now a Spartak player.
"Of course, Celtic are the team I grew up with, the team I support and the team I grew to love, but tonight that all goes out the window."
McGeady, who scored 31 goals in 147 league appearances for Celtic, admitted he is already excited at the prospect of going back to Glasgow for the return game.
"To just be back playing at Parkhead, for a different team, it's going to be a great experience," he added. "When the draw came out my phone was ringing off the hook with everyone phoning and texting me about the draw and how good it was."
McGeady was rested for the 3-1 win over Amkar at the weekend which took Spartak to fifth in the Russian Premier League, four points behind leaders Anzhi Makhachkala.
Spartak are looking for their first points in Group G, though, after losing 3-2 at Barcelona in their opening game. For their part, the Scottish champions played out a goalless home draw against Benfica.
Lennon, the Celtic manager, is wary of the threat McGeady will pose. "He has improved since his days at Celtic," Lennon said. "In the games I have watched Spartak play, Aiden has probably been their best attacking player.
"He looks in good condition. We all know how good he is on the ball but his movement off the ball is excellent. He covers the ground very quickly and he will be a threat. He will want to win the game and he will want to play well."
Celtic (possible, 4-4-1-1): Forster; Lustig, Wilson, Ambrose, Izaguirre; Forrest, Brown, Wanyama, Mulgrew; Commons; Hooper
Latest in Sport
Why does Manuel Pellegrini keep picking Martin Demichelis for Manchester City?
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
David Meyler, Samuel Eto'o and the best, most controversial and bizarre goal celebrations
Bayern Munich v Arsenal: 10 reasons for Arsenal to be optimistic of Champions League progress
Bayern Munich v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pleads for 'fair chance' from referee as Arsenal look to turn around Champions League deficit
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home