Champions League opportunity for Celtic with Astana draw


Celtic will face Kazakhstan Champions, Astana in the Champions League play-off round later this month, with the first leg at home. The teams faced in the same qualifying competition last season, with Celtic progressing, winning the second leg 2-1 after a 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan.

Astana eliminated Legia Warsaw in the last round, securing a 3-1 victory in the first leg, before holding on for a 1-0 defeat in Warsaw after 8 minutes of added time.

Although Brendan Rodgers will know what to expect, the enormous journey, the heat and the fact that Astana are 21 games into their league season, will give him cause for concern.

On the positive side, our man in Warsaw tells me there is a new pitch at the Astana Arena, which Legia report was excellent and a near-grass experience. He also tells me Legia should have done better in this tie, were the better team home and away, but were caught by Astana’s counter-attack.

They “parked the bus” in Warsaw and showed signs of indiscipline against Legia, which Celtic may be able to exploit.

Strikers Kwumasi and Kabananga, and midfielder, Maevski, are their danger players, while their keeper is “awful”.

It’s there for you, Celtic.


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  1. Big Jimmy


    what he actually said was something like – he always believes his team to be the best and have best squad

  2. TONYDONNELLY67 on 4TH AUGUST 2017 12:39 PM






    Well! Let’s just say like most things I post, my view differs from yours, and that’s your opinion. And I have mine.






    Celtic haven’t said anything about a judicial review. That’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a fact.



    Ive just had some great news this very morn.


    You will probably see me in your local sooner than you think ?



    Hope this is not bad news for you, I’m one of the good Bhoys…honest.




  4. For those concerned about the weather conditions for the game in Astana, I looked on Accuweather, and the temperatures over there are VERY variable at the moment. Today it has dropped 4°C to a max of 30°C, which is somewhat hot to be playing professional football with so much at stake… but looking forward, whilst Sunday is forecast to reach 34°C, next Friday and Saturday are expected to be 17-18°C, which is actually 2-3°C cooler than the forecast for Glasgow.



    Best let Brendan know that they may need to pack their thermals!

  5. GENE,


    Maybe so, but in his dreams obviously !



    He’s an absolute plonker imo, and I aint just saying that cos he’s THEMs manager.


    If he’s a football manager….then I’m Brad feckin Pitt ?



  6. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    We have arrived at this point basically unfit and without a striker.


    We will be ready for Astana at home.


    I know one thing, Astana better be good, or they are in for a torrid time.


    Win at home without conceding.


    Control the away game.


    The Bhoys can do it:)


    Come on the Bhoy Griff:)




  7. Astana were formed in 2009, they have won 3 league titles, 3 Kazakhstan cups and 2 super cups. But that’s nothing compared to the international Rangers who have won 54 titles in 5 years.

  8. Putting the draw into perspective,I am sure Liverpool,Napoli would loved to have had Astana,than the teams they drew.Too many putting too much into it.Its a 5 hour flight,big deal.The team will arrive in plenty of time .The pitch,as we have heard is perfect.It wont be too hot,around 22 degrees.We are 100% better than the last time we played them.We will be fully fit by the time the game comes around.No excuses there.They have 3 main players valued at 1 million quid.This is what we are up against.Put the worry beads away.at least until the 1st leg is over.

  9. glendalystonsils on

    GENE on 4TH AUGUST 2017 12:49 PM



    Fair enough….I’ll see if it works again………….



    The only thing I DON’T want to happen is for me to win the Euromillions this week……..

  10. I’m really confident we’ll win against Astana but if we don’t we’ll get beat and not qualify.


    Positively negative csc.





    UEFA deserves praise for keeping politics out of football and letting Asian teams play in their competitions.



  11. GENE on 4TH AUGUST 2017 12:57 PM





    Now i’m worried about not being worried,




    You worry me sometimes,Gene.

  12. glendalystonsils on

    The worst thing we could do is go into the Astana game thinking it will be easier than last year.


    Brendan will not allow that to happen

  13. A Celtic tam that hizny got 3 strikers….


    is a Celtic team, screaming for fate to bite its erse.


    And, why can Ciftci not be worked on ?


    And, a standing section, where your…..


    required to act like PLC mannequin’s….


    is a goal of a start to all visiting….


    teams to Celtic Park…..imho.


    And, is the hansom actor – Jason Bateman,….


    a Jobo Baldie doppelganger ?




    Sack The Board – Then back the new, rebellious board’s team.



  14. 6.5 hrs flight time not ideal, but we have done it before and I think we have a better manager than we have ever had going there, so I am confident but not underestimating them. Like last round Brendan will be looking for no goals conceeded at home, hope we have a full strength squad to chose from excluding who are already out.

  15. Cultsbhoy says Hail Hail to Hector and Brendan on

    So do we buy before the game or take our chances?



    Gypsy -No but I’ve been told to go travelling for sex a few times



    Which coincidentally I need to go

  17. Ernie lynch



    Your opinion, I respect it.


    PS a don’t do Uni Style debates either, a just have opinions, like it or leave it, I don’t have a problem.


    But that to hard for you to understand.

  18. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Id be interested to see Brown and Kouassi play together, I think they would be a powerful duo.


    We have strength and adaptability, Nir Bitton at CH,Midfield, Kouassi, Jamesy, Calum, Johnny.


    Its always good to have players who can play in different positions, I like that.


    Brendan is good at finding solutions.


    Ive no fears for the Astana game. We have a lot of talented young players, Calum, Anthony Ralston, Olivier Ntcham, Eboue Kouassi, Kundai Benyu.


    And my adopted son, the Bhoy Griff:)


    Brendan will find a way:)




  19. Nope, hands up I was wrong, best post this before Ernie lynch gets on my back :))



    The distance from Scotland to Kazakhstan is 4778 kilometers or 2969 miles only.


    A typical flight between Scotland, and Kazakhstan would have a flying time of about 5 hours 57 mins. This assumes an average flight speed for a commercial airliner of 500 mph, which is equivalent to 805 km/hr or 434 knots. Your exact time may vary depending on wind speeds.

  20. Astana is 4786 Kilometers – as the cock crows.



    Much faster to go by miles – it’s only 2973.9 of those.



    You’re welcome.

  21. Like most I would have preferred an away tie first but on the other hand they have to make the long journey twice.


    As do we obviously but you know what I mean.

  22. Turkeybhoy/Dessybhoy: According to Google Maps it is a 9-9½ hour flight from Glasgow to Astana, not 5 or 6½ hours. I think someone else posted that there is a 5 our time difference from BST.



    However, while spending more than 12 hours travelling to get there (including time at the airports) isn’t ideal, it will be exactly the same for the Astana players when they travel to Glasgow for the first leg. And they won’t have the benefit of a 3-0 first leg lead to ease the tedium of the journey.



    …Advantage Celtic.



    Furthermore, for those making an issue of the plastic pitch in Astana, I would think that adjusting from a real grass surface, uneven bounces, divots and all, to a nice even, consistent plastic surface, has to be less of a handicap than adjusting to the reverse transition.



    …Advantage Celtic.



    We have the psychological edge in that we beat them last year in the same competition.



    …Advantage Celtic.



    P.S. Let’s just hope there are no heckling hurting huns on the flight to Astana, or LG is going to get wound right up!




  23. TONYDONNELLY67 on 4TH AUGUST 2017 1:19 PM –



    Great minds think….differently it appears! :-))



    4778km! Can you no count?

  24. KevJungle


    I watched Ciftci playing in Poland for Pogoń Szczecin. As Pablophanque would say- he is too lazy bassa and to bassa to learn playing the banjo.

  25. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Your bhoys displayed an incredible TIFO, respect from the Green Man.




  26. BABASONICOS71 on

    I see BT have ruined our viewing experience for the coming season by employing Shatner as it’s new guy.The mute button will be overused this year. :(

  27. Worst case scenario, we lose to Astana and drop into Pot 2 of the Europa League draw. We could still end up in a group thus:



    Arsenal, CELTIC, Nice, Hapoel Be’er Sheva



    …or, dependant upon the outcome of other play-off ties:



    AC Milan, CELTIC, Real Sociedad, Cologne

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