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3 of Europe's toughest away stadiums to get a result in

3 of Europe's toughest away stadiums to get a result in

As time goes by and the impact of money on football becomes ever more pronounced, the effect of a tough away trip does seem to be drifting away in the modern game. If you're Manchester City or Bayern Munich, the threat of a "cold, windy Wednesday night in Stoke" or its German equivalent is becoming less of a concern. And yet, there are still those occasions on which an overpowered and overpowering footballing giant shows up to play a "lesser" team and goes home without the spoils. Experts in sports betting still take the away trip into account when considering where an upset may happen. Even the best teams lose sometimes, and often to opponents you wouldn't expect.

What is it about the stadiums where these results tend to occur? Is it the noise created by the home fans? The tight dimensions of a smaller pitch, which make it harder to play flowing football? The culture shock of getting ready for a game in a dressing room without underfloor heating? It varies from team to team, but the grounds below are some of the hardest to visit in world football, and worth a goal start to the team playing in them.

Celtic Park, Glasgow

Although their European campaigns have been less eye-catching in the last few seasons, Celtic have welcomed some of Europe's top teams to the East End of Glasgow and sent them away with nothing but regrets. Milan, Manchester United, Barcelona, and Shakhtar are some of the teams that have turned up with expensive squads and fallen here. The turning point in last season's Scottish Premiership came when Rangers, previously two points clear at the top, came to Parkhead for a night game. Amid a cacophony of noise and smoke, the league leaders wilted and were 3-0 down by half time. They never looked like getting back into the game, and new leaders Celtic never looked like relinquishing first place.

Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund

There are many reasons Dortmund are always either in the latter stages of European competition, or getting ready to return to them. A superb youth development system and clever transfer policy certainly helps. But there is no doubt that the Yellow Wall in Signal Iduna Park's south stand plays a part too. Containing nearly 25,000 fans in the famous yellow and black colours of the home team, it swirls and sings for 90 minutes, sucking the ball in when Dortmund are attacking and blowing it back out when they defend. When you play BvB on their home turf, you're facing more than eleven men.

Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul

It's fair to say that Galatasaray have less of an impact in major European competition than they used to, but there are many reasons that teams outside of the big five European nations are having a tougher time than they once did. A trip to the Turk Telekom Arena is still a fearsome assignment - it's been measured as the loudest stadium in Europe at game time, and the presence of lit flares throughout the game gives it the appearance of something from a horror film. That's just how the fans like it - they have been known to hold up signs that say "Welcome to Hell" when bigger teams come to play a European away.




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