Celtic assistant Chris Davies plays it cool as Champions League draw sees them potentially facing Armenian side Alashkert in 35-degree heat
- Celtic play Armenian side Alashkert in their first Champions League qualifier
- Based in the capital of Yerevan, temperatures in July reach as high as 35 degrees
- The first leg takes place in Armenia on July 10 or 11 with the return leg on July 18
- Chris Davies says Celtic stars will be well equipped to handle the temperatures
Celtic assistant Chris Davies believes Brendan Rodgers’ players will not melt in the furnace that awaits them in Armenia next month.
The Scottish champions were paired with Alashkert in their opening Champions League qualifier — with a likely rematch with Rosenborg their reward should they progress.
Based in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, Alashkert are accustomed to playing in temperatures as high as 35 degrees in the height of summer.
Scottish Treble winners Celtic will face Alashkert in the first round of European qualifying
The first leg takes place in Armenia on July 10 or 11 with the return leg in Glasgow on July 18.
The Armenian champions boast only three previous European campaigns, with their most notable result coming when they defeated St Johnstone on away goals on their debut in the 2015-16 Europa League.
Despite the prospect of playing in searing heat in the first competitive game of the season, Davies believes the players will cope with the adverse conditions.
‘At times you can adapt slightly on a tactical side, how you approach certain phases of a game when it’s so hot,’ he said. ‘But we are training now in warmer weather and we are going to Austria, which will be warmer, so that will help us prepare for that.
‘We travel there first and we are at home second, which is positive. The simplicity of it for us is, if we play to our level, play with our normal way and intensity, then we will beat them. But we won’t be underestimating them at all.
Brendan Rodgers’ dominant side are set to travel to Armenia for the first leg on July 10-11
Alashkert’s Vahagn Minasyan in action against St Johnstone in the Europa League in 2015
‘There will be no complacency there whatsoever because as we have seen before these teams can be tricky to play against.
Given the close proximity of the second qualifying round, Celtic will do their homework on Norwegian champions Rosenborg as they look to make short work of Valur Reykjavik.
Last season, a James Forrest strike in Trondheim proved enough to ease Celtic past them 1-0 on aggregate at the third qualifying-round stage.
‘With Rosenborg, the positives I will take from that potential game is that we have beaten them before,’ added Davies.
‘It was probably the hardest way because we had to play them away second.
‘I don’t think their style or players are going to have changed too much, so we know quite a lot about them.’
Yerevan has a temperature range of minus-two degrees Celsius in winter to 35 degrees in July