It’s always dangerous to welcome news that an opponent will be without an automatic first choice player – think back to last month, when news of Leigh Griffiths’ injury broke, forcing Brendan Rodgers into playing Moussa Dembele against Newco. Well-resourced teams have strong squads, but for every Dembele waiting in the wings, there are a dozen or more Pukkis.
So while news that Borussia Monchengladbach are likely to be without striker, Raffael, winger, Thorgan Hazard and central defender, Andreas Christensen, is encouraging, it’s no more than that. It’s little more than Celtic replacing Roberts, Griffiths and Sviatchenko (three nailed-on starters at the beginning of the season) with Forrest, Dembele and Simunovic.
The absences will have no impact on Brendan Rodgers game planning, but it might play on the mind of Gladbach manager, Andre Schubert, who is dealing with the first run of sustained disappointing results since he was promoted from Gladbach reserve coach last season.
Manchester City looked vastly more accomplished than Gladbach when they met in the opening group game, so the draw City took at Celtic Park, and the manner in which they were forced to fight for it, is likely to convince Schubert that a point would be a good result for his team.
A draw would be an inconclusive result for both teams chances of finishing above the other, but a win for either team would be the most important result of the group.
Looking for tickets for the semi-final on Sunday?
Celtic sponsor, Intelligent Car Leasing, have given us a pair of tickets for the North Stand (Celtic supporters area). Tickets are all sold, if you or your auntie’s brother’s son want one, this is one of the very few ways left of getting your hands on any!
The pair will be raffled together, to enter, email the address below with the correct spelling of Monchengladbach (clue, this is not a trick question).
I’m not taking this too seriously, so all entries will be considered. Here’s the thing, though, we should be doing what we can for the Celtic Foundation on such a great occasion. While you are entering, why don’t you make a donation to YOUR Foundation here.
The last competition winner made a donation. It was a coincidence. Honest…….
Entries to firstname.lastname@example.org . Competition closes at 14:00 on Thursday, winner will be informed that day. Make sure I have contact details for you, it wouldn’t be the first time someone won a CQN competition and didn’t check their email until after the event.
Good luck, and enormous thanks to Intelligent Car Leasing.
For a short period we are shipping a FREE copy of Paul John Dykes acclaimed book, The Quality Street Gang, with Andy Lynch’s autobiography, Hoops, Stars & Stripes, written with Paul. That’s two quality books for £14.99 + p&p – an absolute bargain.
Order now and the CQN Bookstore. We take delivery of Andy’s book later this week, they will be arriving with you soon thereafter.