Benfica arrive after 3 competitive games


Benfica will arrive in Glasgow tomorrow without having played a competitive game since 2 September, when they thumped Nacional 3-0 in Lisbon.  They arranged a friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday in an attempt to prepare them for this week’s Champions League challenge but the lack of meaningful football is less than ideal, especially at a time when clubs are looking to build sharpness.

Celtic were idle for two weeks before Saturday but have played nine competitive games this season compared to Benfica’s three.  They also have the benefit of not having to sacrifice a day’s preparation to travel.

Fitness late in the game, perhaps accentuated by the use of substitutes, could be crucial.  Celtic’s best chance of winning this one will come in the second half. Run the lungs out of them, Celtic.

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  1. Part of me thinks that this 3rd division team is attracting far too much attention, given their status. On the other hand I find it hard to keep a straight face when their manager reels out the same lines about “biggest game”, “respect our opposition” and “grateful for the welcome”.



    The mask will slip.

  2. If you have such a low opinion of the country and those who live here why would it be your first choice?

  3. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on



    Published on Tuesday 18 September 2012 00:00



    Rangers last night sparked a war of words with Third Division rivals Annan Athletic after claiming that the ankle injury sustained by winger David Templeton in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Galabank was caused by the artificial playing surface and are seeking financial compensation from the borders club.



    The allegation was strenuously denied by the Dumfriesshire club.



    Templeton, signed for the tidy sum of £800,000 from Hearts on transfer deadline day last month, collapsed only nine minutes into the match with the ball elsewhere and no opponent within yards of him.



    Manager Ally McCoist claimed that medical staff had assured him that the plastic pitch was responsible for the damage, the full extent of which can be revealed as probably an allergy to plastic but it is likely to rule the 23-year-old out of action for the next few months.



    McCoist doesn’t believe that Annan’s 3G surface should be used for senior matches and claims that he has banned his senior professionals from using the ones at Murray Park unless they have taken an antihistamine tablet beforehand.



    “The ankle has a very bad rash on it and has been strained as well,” he said. “He has slight ligament damage and only time will tell if the rash will clear up or not. At least with a break you know where you are. With a plastic allergic rash it is difficult to determine. We will just have to monitor him because he will have another look to see how itchy it truly is when the swelling goes down.



    “I have no idea what timescale we are looking at. I would probably settle for a month but I think it will be longer. Their player was nowhere near him: his fair skin caught the surface. It’s a shame because he started so well for us. Our doctor did say the pitch definitely played a part in it and calamine lotion would help but I don’t know how much.



    “As those surfaces go it looked all right, but whether a team of our calibre should ever be playing on them is altogether a different argument.



    “I’m not going to start an anti-plastic pitch campaign because we have four teams in our league who use them. It doesn’t matter a toss what I think about them because we’re playing on them. That’s the way it is. We have two artificial facilities here, one outdoors and one indoors, and I don’t ask my older players to use them. That would give you an indication as to what my views are on it. But, at the same time, I fully appreciate why clubs use them because of the use to the wider community.”



    Annan secretary Alan Irving, though, rejected any suggestion that the synthetic surface could be at fault for Templeton’s injury.



    “These surfaces are now used in Champions League matches and cup finals and our surface is state-of-the-art,” he said. “Not counting youth-team games, we must have played a dozen times on that surface without any problems. One of the things which has become apparent, though, is that you need to wear the right footwear to play on it. If you are not smart enough to work that out before hand it could come back to haunt you



    “I’m sad that David Templeton has been injured but I find it incredible that Rangers have billed us for his wages for three months. He’d gone into a tackle shortly before he went down and I wonder if perhaps he was suffering from being out on the lash the night before.”

  4. .






    Most of the Generalisations you have used could be said of Any Country in the World..



    It probably depends on who you visited and where the Lived..



    My Dad Visited 10yrs ago..(A Rangers Fan)..He went to my Stag day Golf outing with about 40 Celtic supporters and Visited Galiamble a Aboriginal Rehab that l did Voluntary work at the time..I can assure you his thoughts on Australia could Not be further from Yours..But you will Probably say that’s because he is a H^n,,:O)






    Ps..I’m Not a Touchy Aussie l am a Scottish guy Who has Made Australia my Home..