Biton impressed by Celtic feat
Celtic new boy Nir Biton claims the Hoops' dramatic Champions League play-off win over Shakhter Karagandy on Wednesday night convinced him he had made the right decision in joining the Parkhead club.
The 21-year-old Israel midfielder completed his move to the Scottish champions from FC Ashdod on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee reported to be B#700,000 ahead of their Saturday lunchtime Scottish Premiership clash with Dundee United.
Biton was in the stand at Celtic Park to see his new team-mates reach the Champions League group stages with a dramatic 3-0 win over the Kazakhstan champions to give them a 3-2 aggregate victory, the evening made all the more memorable by James Forrest's injury-time winner.
Speaking on Friday afternoon at the club's Lennoxtown training complex, with agent Dudu Dahan acting as an interpreter at times, he was asked if his Parkhead experience had vindicated his move to Scotland.
"Of course," he said. "I was at the game on Wednesday night and the fans were something that I have never seen before.
"The performance was very good. Celtic is a big team so I don't need to speak about the quality of the players here.
"At Celtic Park everything is open and we can do the impossible."
Biton is a former team-mate of Celtic defender Efe Ambrose and compatriot of midfielder Beram Kayal but insists he was not guided in his decision to join Celtic by either.
"I know the level of Celtic so I don't need to speak to anybody," he said. "They are a big club in Europe, with some of the best fans in the world, so this is my dream.
"I don't know what the fans expect of me but I want to be the best."
Celtic are also expected to conclude the signing of Finnish striker Teemu Pukki from Schalke 04 before the Saturday night deadline.
While Biton will go straight into the Hoops squad fellow countryman Beram Kayal is still out with a groin injury.
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has called on his side to improve their record against Celtic when Neil Lennon's men visit Tannadice.
United have conceded 18 goals in their last four games against Celtic, although they pushed them all the way in one of those encounters, the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final in April.
But United are in a good frame of mind after beating St Johnstone 4-0 last weekend and winning 3-2 at Dumbarton in a week of League Cup difficulties for top-flight clubs.
McNamara said: "I think it will be a good game and a good crowd. They will obviously be delighted after their result on Wednesday night and full of confidence.
"I'm looking forward to it and hopefully we will put a good show on.
"It would give everyone a lift again to get a result because we didn't do well against Celtic last season with results and scorelines.
"If we can make sure we keep it tight against them and cause them problems when we have got the ball then we can go and hurt them."
McNamara has some selection dilemmas after making four changes for the game at the Bet Butler Stadium. Keith Watson, Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong were given the night off, while Ryan Dow is expected to shake off a groin problem he suffered during the win over Saints.
Nadir Ciftci came off the bench to score twice and set up another for Ryan Gauld, who was one of the four players drafted in for the cup tie.
One player who will not be involved is Michael Gardyne, who has joined Kilmarnock on loan until January.