Samaras feeling right at home

Celtic captain Georgios Samaras is aiming to impress more than most in Wednesday night's blockbuster friendly against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Celtic captain Georgios Samaras is aiming to impress more than most in Wednesday night's blockbuster friendly against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

The 26-year-old striker's family boasts a strong Melbourne link with his father Ioannis born in the Victorian capital, while his grandfather Georgios senior was a co-founder of the South Melbourne Soccer Club.

Samaras says the opportunity to lead the Scottish giants out in front of extended family and friends means it is more than just a friendly for him.

"It feels like home, I have a lot of family here and visit them really often," Samaras said.

"I'm looking forward to the game on Wednesday, not just for my family, but the Greek community here."

Capped 45 times by Greece, Samaras has blossomed into Celtic's talisman since his arrival from Manchester City in 2008.

Samaras is raring to go, having been kept on ice by manager Neil Lennon in the 2-0 win over Perth Glory last Saturday.

"I'll try and get an hour into him," Lennon said.

Like his opposite number Mehmet Durakovic, Lennon was tight-lipped on the make-up of Celtic's starting line-up apart from Samaras.

"We've brought a big squad, so there will be a few changes that played against Perth on Saturday," Lennon said.

"We want to give as many players as much game-time as we can."

Swedish international defender Daniel Majstorovic, South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng, Scottish attacker Shaun Maloney and Northern Irishman Patrick McCourt are four players tipped to come into the starting line-up with Lennon well-aware Victory cannot be taken lightly.

"By all accounts this will be the toughest game of the tour," Lennon said.

"We had a good week's work in terms of the physical condition of the players in Perth and we got a good performance out of them."