NOMME KALJU president Kuno Tehva insists the Estonian minnows can rock Celtic - as he compared the Hoops' visit to Metallica playing in the Baltic country.

The Pink Panthers have crossed swords with the likes of Lech Poznan, Dnipro and Maccabi Haifa in recent European campaigns, even defeating the Israeli giants on penalties in the Europa League second qualifying round in 2016.

However, their Champions League showdown with the Hoops represents the most high-profile and lucrative fixture in the club's history.

And Tehva reckons the scale of the fixture will be on a par with the heavy metal giants bringing their WorldWired tour to the city of Tartu, 116 miles south of Tallinn.


READ MORE: What sort of threat do Nomme Kalju pose to Celtic?

The gig is expected to draw 60,000 fans to the Raadi Airfield tonight - less than a fortnight before Celtic visit in the return leg of the second qualifying round tie.

And Tehva said: “We are proud to be able to bring a club like Celtic to Tallinn and I believe it is just as big an event as the Metallica concert. 

“Our players have a great opportunity to show their skills against a top-notch club and, although we have respect for the opponent, we don’t approach the tie with awe.

“We managed to win against Maccabi Haifa, another very big club, so everything is possible.”

Kalju have already upset the odds in this season’s competition, bouncing back from a 1-0 home defeat against Macedonian champions Shkendija to claim a last-gasp 2-1 victory in Skopje in the return leg - progressing on away goals. 

And Tehva is adamant the Meistriliiga title holders are comfortable with their underdog status as they look to manufacture an even bigger shock. 

He continued: “The odds may sound crazy - but it sounded crazy before the second game with Shkendija too! 

“However, thanks to the belief we have in the team and the good game-plan of our coach and players, we were able to get an amazing result. 

“We have the same faith against Celtic. We will draw up the best possible strategy and approach the tie with the confidence that, after two games, we will get ahead.”


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Kalju have switched the home leg against Celtic from their modest 5000-capacity Kadriorg Stadium to the national stadium in Tallinn - which holds more than 14,000 supporters - because of the superior facilities and in order to maximise attendance. 

They have also struck the club's biggest TV deal ever show the clash live.

However, Tehva is adamant the game is about much more than money. 

He told Postimees: “I believe this is the biggest television contract in the club's history but the value of this television contract is not only measured in money - but how many people see Estonian football and Estonian culture. 

“We can show our local football in a wide range of people. This is the greatest value.”