Big performances needed from Gordon, Toure


It’s hard playing away from home in Europe, statistically, the hardest thing we do (harder still than guessing what bizarre nonsense Craig Thomson will get up to next). For all our great Champions League nights, our record on the Continent (or any other continent, as the case may be) is poor.

Hapoel Beer Shiva’s expectations will be low, but their job tonight is remarkably simple: score, then score again, then see what happens to Celtic. They scored twice in two minutes at Celtic Park, and if they can do the same in 80 minutes in Israel, that +£20m pot you’ve been reading about it anyone’s.

We need big performances from our big players, most notably Craig Gordon and Kolo Toure. I’ve no concerns we’ll get what’s necessary from Leigh Griffiths, James Forrest and Scott Sinclair. Therein lies the tactical problem for Hapoel.

They would prefer to play this game as they played Olympiakos: on the break. Instead, they have to chase the tie, which will leave space for Celtic’s fast front three to exploit.

Tactically, this is a very difficult task to prepare for the home team to prepare for, which is why Hapoel are 9-1 against qualifying, high odds for a two horse race. They need to play the opponent, so should defend, but they also need to play the aggregate score, so need to create lots of chances.

Teams who attempt to square this circle often lose the match. Let’s hope.

1-2, Celtic, on the night.


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  1. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Every result that see’s us qualify is a victory cheer the bhoy on to victory

  2. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I’d hoped we’d be a wee bit more professional than that, I mean ffs talk about amateurish, asking on twitter :)

  3. “For all our great Champions League nights, our record on the Continent (or any other continent, as the case may be) is poor.”






    Our group stage record is gash but our record away from home in qualifying isn’t too shabby.




  4. Feeling very tense at the moment. I suppose it’s the fact that being 3 up if the unthinkable happens it will go down as one of our worse days ever & on the other side, the longed for Champions League Group is almost in our hands.


    The stakes are always high when Celtic play but they seem at an all time high just now.

  5. Tambourine Bhoy of 1967 on

    The Clumpany nails a fine podium place there!



    Clumps, I love your work. I’ll take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and HH!




  6. Canamalar,



    I’m with you on that. Any scoreline that sees us progress is a good one.




  7. MACJAY1@12:01 (last article)



    Funny you should mention that game – when we were selling the family home after my mum died – we came across a pile of old newspapers – most were The Weekly News – we were a great Weekly News family.



    A preview of the Dunfermline cup final made fascinating reading – in an even older one , there is this kinda burly crew-cut young centre forward called Him Conway – do you remember him?

  8. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on




    Games in Fox sports in US so should be ok in most sports bars( according to tweet received via celticbars)


    Still nothing concrete from celticbars as yet showing it as yet

  9. Doesn’t matter how we qualify, inquests can com later – we just need to qualify.



    I would bite your hand off right now for a 6-3 defeat.



    I would celebrate it and think of Dixie Deans, even though Dixie was never on a losing side when we hit 6.



    As important for me are the performances of Brown & Bitton. Midfield discipline is everything.

  10. By 9.30 CPT, today will be forever remembered as St. Brendan’s Day or Lá ‘le Breandán by Celtic fans.



    Coinnígí an Creideamh.

  11. traditionalist88 on

    Hot Smoked on 23rd August 2016 12:15 pm



    Do any comparative teams have a great Away record in Europe?








    Barcelona aren’t bad, didn’t win the European Cup till 1992 so don’t know if you can call them comparable to us mind :)




  12. McCarthy on £50k a week, would be a good signing but Everton will want a transfer fee of £5m at least and any deal dependant on him taking a pay cut.



    Also linked with Watford, Sunderland, West Ham and Newcastle.

  13. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Bloody heightest ;) we need a big performance from our wee players as well, why should they get away with putting in less of a shift just because their arses are closer to the ground, why is it only the big players get questioned, bloody disgrace.

  14. Happy Podium Mr Clumpany.



    I’m intrigued by your finishing comment.



    What sort of shoes will female journalists wear?


    Brown Broged high heels must be an eyesore.



    Anyway. COYBIG.

  15. Will Brendan go for DDV tonight? Hes clearly a ‘keeper he likes, I know it would be a blow for big CG but he has shipped 4 goals in 2 games, not his fault of course but thats the stats. Could be interesting to see the match line up.


    Clean sheet 0-0 will do me, whoever he chooses.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    MATS NILLOC on 23RD AUGUST 2016 12:15 PM



    I do indeed.


    Jim Conway.


    Crewcut. Great player.


    Whatever happened to him ?



    Conroy. Conway.


    Our hero was big John Colraine .

  17. Craig Gordon will be the most important player tonight.



    I don’t know if Brendan Rodgers can do the Martin O’Neill trick of putting his arm round the player and convincing him that he’s a better player than he actually is but that’s whats needed tonight.

  18. We shipped to quick goals against this crowd in the first game, we shipped to quick goals against St Johnston. This is not going to be easy. Given the standard and present form of our attack, I feel certain we will score at least twice. I think the key will be for us to score first.

  19. Big performances required for every player tonight, but i agree with Paul in that Craig and Kolo need to inspire their team-mates around them. Although I would really prefer that Craig didnt have to do that as it means his defence will have stopped the ball coming near him!



    As with every away tie it is crucial we keep it especially tight the first 20 minuntes. Get Beer Sheva and their fans frustrated and force them into making mistakes and committing too many men forward, which will give our front guys the space and time to make them pay.



    I think we are a better team than Hapoel regardless, so lets show them that tonight.



    Cant predict the scoreline with any confidence, but there will be goals tonight, of that I am certain. Just the aggregate score in our favour.









  20. time for change on

    Can’t wait for tonight’s game. It helps that Hapoel have to chase the game. As far as Craig Gordon is concerned this could be last chance saloon (it can’t have escaped Brendan’s notice that he is lacking confidence, shots to conceding is poor).



    So we have Bobby Madden on Saturday (out of sight of live cameras) the match prior to the game against The Rangers International FC, can but hope there are no honest mistakes followed by suspensions.



    Craig Thomsom has the Dundee Utd game.



    hoping we score quickly tonight.








    Dixie never on the losing side when we hit six? F…..g brilliant!



    I doubt anyone was!!



    Btw,I think that every time we hit six or more when he played,he got at least three.



    Rubbish,he was(!)

  22. glendalystonsils on

    ERNIE LYNCH on 23RD AUGUST 2016 12:21 PM


    Craig Gordon will be the most important player tonight.




    I don’t know if Brendan Rodgers can do the Martin O’Neill trick of putting his arm round the player and convincing him that he’s a better player than he actually is but that’s whats needed tonight.



    I’m sure if Brendan stands on a chair, he can put an arm round CG:)



    I would love us to score an early goal tonight but failing that, 0-0 at HT to frustrate them ,then score early in the second half.

  23. Thomson refereing Dundee United, is that classed as a demotion? Or a token gesture to the Broadcasters before he’s appointed the man in the middle on September 10th. SFA now faced with a dilemma if it’s true he has been given the game, no doubt they will brass it out, but if he makes a mess of it he’s badly exposed.

  24. I would play Sviatchenko tonight alongside Toure, better defender than young O’Connell. Brown and Bitton should be told to hold or if one goes forward one stays behind of the back four. We lost one daft goal last week, need to be very disciplined whn they have the ball.



    Front four picks itself at the moment, with good options in Dembele and Roberts on the bench. Henderson would be an option instead of Rogic but I think his rash tackle on Saturday will have killed that idea in Brendan’s mind.



    I think we will score, if we score first it will virtually kill the game and my nerves!



    Looking forward to the game and hopefully our Champions League adventure! Use the monies if they come to buy Patrick Roberts and James McCarthy.

  25. McCarthy on loan or to buy- no’ fur me I’m afraid. Competent but no better than Brown, Bitton or Joe Hansen in my book.



    would he play tonight? Naw.

  26. Here is me sitting here with expectations of winning in Cardiff in May holding reservations about tonight.



    See what you do to me Celtic.