Maloney relishing Aalborg test
Shaun Maloney is looking forward to facing Aalborg after missing out on the Champions League last season.
Last Updated: 15/09/08 11:56am
Shaun Maloney is looking forward to facing Aalborg after missing out on the UEFA Champions League last season.
Maloney left Celtic for Aston Villa in 2007 and had to watch from afar as Gordon Strachan's side made it through to the last 16, where they were knocked out by Barcelona.
The 25-year-old returned to Parkhead over the summer and is now relishing the chance to show off his skills on the European stage once again.
Celtic begin their campaign on Wednesday with a home game against Danish side Aalborg, who sealed their place in the competition with a victory over Rangers' conquerors FBK Kaunas in qualifying.
Maloney said: "I was quite envious watching the Champions League when I was away and I hope to be involved in it again on Wednesday.
"I remember watching the Barcelona games last season and while I wouldn't say it was tough to watch, I just knew I wanted to be there, to be involved. It was so frustrating for me."
Villarreal and Manchester United are the other two sides in Group E and Maloney accepts it is important to make a fast start.
"Aalborg is a big game. I don't know if it's the best fixture to start with but it's another massive night on which we will hopefully take three points," he urged.
"We've had this in previous Champions League games, in that the team coming out of pot four are the ones people say we should beat.
"We saw that with Copenhagen, but then look at how they played at home. It's going to be a tough tie, as will all the home matches. Villarreal will be even tougher and then there is Manchester United.
"We obviously went in as underdogs the last time we played them but you don't know what will happen."