Why Celtic star is concerned about Salzburg trip in Europa League

Celtic Parkhead

Craig Gordon believes Thursday evening's Group D opponents represent one of their toughest tests because of these reasons…

Salzburg's domestic record, combined with their playing style, has perturbed Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon ahead of the Scottish Premier League side's tussle with the Austrian's in their 31,000 capacity Red Bull Arena tomorrow evening, Thursday.

Salzburg were crowned champions of the Austrian Bundesliga five times in the last eight seasons and, under the tutelage of 44-year-old manager Adolf Hutter, have adopted a high-pressing mentality that, in Gordon's words, can "force teams into mistakes."

Perhaps worryingly for Celtic also, is Hutter's coaching record. Since taking over at Salzburg, he has masterminded an 82% winning ratio.

"They are a great team," said Gordon to Sky Sports.

"They press high up the pitch then try to force teams into mistakes. They have done very well in their domestic league in recent years so we know we are in for a big fight and a very difficult match."

He added: "But we're here to get points on the board and get off to a good start in the competition. We have to be solid and concentrate on what we do well and we will have to defend very well."

Celtic and Salzburg are in Group D of the Europa League, along with Dinamo Zagreb and Astra Giurgiu.

Salzburg's danger-man is no doubt Jonathan Soriano who has already returned an extraordinary 11 times in seven games.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch