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Brendan Rodgers: Difficult conditions will play big part

The Hoops face Armenian champions Alashkert in the Champions League first qualifying round.

Brendan Rodgers side travelled to Armenia on Sunday.
Brendan Rodgers side travelled to Armenia on Sunday. SNS

Brendan Rodgers said soaring temperatures in Armenia will affect the tempo of his side's Champions League qualifier against Alashkert.

Celtic face the Armenian champions on Tuesday evening with the temperature set to be in the mid 30s by kick-off.

Rodgers believes that the conditions could make life difficult for his side as they look to progress in the first-round qualifier.

He said: "We know it will be a tough game for us, especially at this time of the season where we are only beginning our preparations and Alashkert are in the middle of their season.

"I think the weather is always going to play a big factor, the temperature back in the UK is hot just now but it's nowhere near as hot here.

"Sometimes it can affect the tempo of the game. It's something we have to work through but our objective over the two legs is qualify for the next round.

"We know it will be tough to play in the heat, which we aren't used to, and that we are facing a tough opponent.

Rodgers side go into the match as heavy favourites but said his side won't be underestimating any team in the Champions League.

He added: "In this competition you always have to respect every opponent that you play.

"Alashkert are a team who have won their domestic league for the last three seasons so we know they are a good team."

"We've analysed a number of their games.

"They are a team who play well in the transition.

"They have a striker who is fast and when they play from deep his speed makes it difficult for you. They play very compact."

"We expect them to be very compact and tight. When you pay at home in the qualification phase it's important that you don't concede a goal.

"The team likes to build the game from behind, play their way through midfield and they'll want to be a threat with their speed at the top of the field. We expect they'll want to make a good start in the tie.

"Our approach to every game is the same, it doesn't matter the opponent. This is a squad of players at Celtic who are very respectful to every team we play."

"Our squad is a group of players that have a lot of humility. It doesn't matter what level the opponent is at, we respect and prepare like we were playing Barcelona."

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