We have seen a lot of Norwegian opposition in the last six years. Who can forget the defeats home and away at the hands of Molde in 2015? The away game provided an iconic image for the limits to Ronny Deila’s Celtic.
After a goalless home leg against Rosenborg in 2017, we won the away leg 0-1 thanks to a James Forrest goal. A year later the same opponents took the lead in the first leg at Celtic Park before Odsonne Edouard (2) and Olivier Ntcham gave Celtic the advantage, the return ended 0-0.
Three months after that Champions League qualifier, we met Rosenborg again in the Europa group stage, winning 1-0 in both Glasgow and Trondheim. Rosenborg fans probably have a nervous twitch at the mention of Celtic, but although we bettered them across the three ties, each game was tight.
Bodo/Glimt are Norwegian champions for the second season running. They put their forward slash on the map in two remarkable Europa Conference games against Jose Mourinho’s Roma, winning 6-1 in Bodo and earning a 2-2 draw in Rome – Roma equalised with 6 minutes remaining.
Right now, Bodo/Glimt would fancy their chances against Celtic. This could change by the time the teams meet on 17 February. That game is four weeks before the Norwegian league season is due to start. Notwithstanding our injury peculiarities, Celtic players will be at peak fitness, Bodo/Glimt’s will be two months without a competitive game.
Glimt also have the curse of the successful small club to deal with. Their squad is vulnerable to more resourceful clubs, and there are hundreds of more resourceful clubs in Europe than Glimt. The team they deploy in 2022 could be quite different than this season’s draft.
Ignoring their preseason status and other difficulties, this is a tie Celtic should have more than enough in the tank to win. Football is hard against vastly more resourceful teams, so when it comes to Ross County, Hibs and Bodo/Glimt – who attracted 5,652 fans to the Roma game, we have to get the job done. Mourinho is rubbish too, so big deal.
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