Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady emotional about Celtic reunion


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The Independent Football

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