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. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    You have to factor in the time difference in working out the time of the flight.



    It is currently 13.32 in ole Shangri La, and 18.32 in Kazakhstan.

  2. Polish TIFO was amazing but POLITCAL.. get them hammered! or is it only us that get clipped on…. PS IS Linfield director still UEFA man at our games?

  3. Dontbrattbakkinanger, that explains the huge discrepancy in flight times between Glasgow and Astana. So, when we travel to the away game, the flight will arrive 9½ hours after leaving Glasgow, but when we fly back home we will technically arrive in Glasgow before we depart Astana. This of course gives us the advantage of knowing the result by the time we get back to Glasgow, so if it is bad news we could save ourselves the bother of even travelling over there in the first place!




  4. As I think Paul pointed out last year (when Astana were on their way to Glasgow), because of the 5 hour time difference thing, when the game in Glasgow kicks off at 19:45, it will 00:45 in Astana.



    So the Astana players’ biorhythms should be all over the place.



    Conversely, if the game in Astana kicks off at, say, 19:45 local time, it will only be 14:45 in Scotland.



    Wee things like that can make a big difference …




  5. 3pm was indeed the kick off last time, the excellent Parkville in Blantyre was rammed. Guys having a late lunch, on call, or “delayed at the last call out, boss, tell the customer I’ll get there just after 5”. Tackety boots and overalls was the dress code of the standing, 5 shandies the average consumption having sworn to “only having the one, mate, I’m on call”. The cardigan brigade had acquired the seating areas sometime before noon and looked well camped in and comfy when we arrived. A delay in hooking up to the satellite saw a small band including me and my old man head down to the bar down the road. A shambles of a pub where a quirk of genetic mutation sees scabby mongrel greyhound type creatures mop up the spillages and doubts as if bread to do so and with as pitifully little objection as light in their eyes. The gaffer tape holding the VGA cable on its circuitous route through the optics from dongled laptop to 27″ screen high in the corner looking perilously close to collapse.



    Realising that the company was mixed (permanent residents, huns, exiled tims, and the undead) we had a coke and peered at the minute players plying their trade and carrying our dreams 4,000 miles away. It was almost to scale. The game was edgy, we went one down, one guy was abusing Callum McGregor in a manner I’d have struggled to muster for Harold Shipman had he been my granny’s GP.



    Such was the experience that at half time we decided to head back to the Parkville and if still a blackout then home and listen to the radio rather than persevere in the pub that humanity, colour and evolution forgot.



    To our delight the Parkville’s broadcast issue was resolved and this time we were once again sucked through a vortex of midweek, workday daylight but this time into a heaving swell of nervous tims, shoulder to shoulder, ooing and ahhing every pass and challenge. Any thoughts of work dissipated and replacing the colas a Guinness and a lager became the substitute round like McCourt for Pukki.



    We were on our 3rd when Paddy robbed the defender on the touchline, played in Griff and the away goal was met with a joyous, raucous bellow that I hope and pray the undead in the old pub down the road heard and keeked a slither of something non-grey into their soulless monotony.



    Anyway, 1-1 with Astana, hope for the 2nd leg, new man Rodgers appeared to be getting it right. Car left in the car park overnight, solid handshake with my dad as he boarded his taxi and home for half-six half cut. Celtic has a way of giving you wee gems of memories.






    Cheers mate.



    Due to the great news that I received this morning, I intend to treat myself to a slap up meal in Glasgow City Centre next week.



    Can anyone recommend a good steak place to eat, and no steakbakes do NOT count…I intend doing the full monty is STEAK !


    Yum feckin yum.



  7. Good afternoon all



    A long time since I’ve posted on these pages, but you’ll be pleased I arrive back here with some great news.



    I have it on good authority, Celtic have chartered Virgin Galactic, the flight time to Astana will be approximately 90mins. In addition, all players will receive their Astronaut ‘wings’, so we’ll officially have a full team of Spacemen, the thumb and Broony will no longer be alone.




  8. Astana not a. Bad draw could have been a lot worse Celtic have already beaten them and as they say the devil you know. Regardless it will be tight and nervy and yet again another team well into the season. What’s the story with Stu. Armstrong is he on crap money. He was poor in Norway.

  9. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Embdae think we should ask Minty for his ‘private jet’, so we can ‘jet into’ Astana?

  10. I Hope we wrap jozo , and the griff in cotton wool. Because as of this moment if we were to be without either , we would be in trouble . Unbelievable position for a club of Celtics stature to be in .

  11. bhoywithseethrougheyes on

    Tonydonnely67 @ 11.57



    Thanks for the reply Tony.


    I must have missed the statement you refer to so hopefully you can point me in the direction.


    To my mind there are only two positions that can be held following the SC ruling.


    1) The Budge, Milne and others who want to move on or


    2) Support a Judicial Review.


    It’s not enough to announce surprise at a previous ruling, I want to know if the club stance aligns with option 1) or option 2)

  12. BJMAC on 4TH AUGUST 2017 1:52 PM


    Good afternoon all




    A long time since I’ve posted on these pages, but you’ll be pleased I arrive back here with some great news.




    I have it on good authority, Celtic have chartered Virgin Galactic, the flight time to Astana will be approximately 90mins. In addition, all players will receive their Astronaut ‘wings’, so we’ll officially have a full team of Spacemen, the thumb and Broony will no longer be alone.







    Astronauts spacemen you say ?……….maybe the Celtic Bhoys will catch sight of Kenny Miller ?




  13. Celtic Champs Elect on

    TONYDONNELLY67 on 4TH AUGUST 2017 12:45 PM


    I’m afraid at this stage of the tournament you very rarely get a commanding lead, imo the trick is don’t loos a goal at home and score away, we didn’t do that last year and qualified, sorry for picking up another positive, but hey! That’s just me, the rest of you find the negatives, you’ll find them of that I have no doubt.



    Your so right Tony okay let me name them. Maradim. Neganon TGMSSTB.

  14. themelvingael on

    the one constant in any draw is that we are guaranteed to end up with the worst possible tie.


    this us the third time to Astana .we drew Quarabag ,been to Israel three times even when we get a tie close to home it had all the baggage of Linfield and don’t even mention Barca.


    we seem to be awfully unlucky in these draws



    paranoid csc

  15. West End of East End on

    Big Jimmy on 4th August 2017 1:51 pm



    La Lanterna on Hope St across from Glasgow Central, I was in on Tuesday and the food was excellent as always. My wife had a steak and said it was the best she had for years..

  16. JUNGLE VIP on 4TH AUGUST 2017 1:42 PM



    Astana kick off 22 August 2017 at 21:45 local time which means 16:45 Glasgow time.

  17. Pity Celtic unable to field its strongest in these European games. Heard a top international sports guy on radio saying a short close season without proper rest time leaves players subject to getting injuries

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    The first leg of the play-off tie will be at Celtic Park on Wednesday, August 16 (KO: 7.45pm), with the return in Kazakhstan the following Tuesday, August 22 (KO: tbc).

  19. No Sviatchenko for 6 weeks? Well, we have Biton, Ajer and Lustig to deputise at CB. The squad can handle it.

  20. Thanks, Zbyszek.



    That’s useful info.



    16:45 still sounds a darned sight better than 00:45 …




  21. Go tell the Spartim on

    £28 a brief, seersly



    Bitton has had good games and not so good games at CB, personally i would prefer another CB to play alongside Jozo (even when everyone is fit), have a suspicion that had that young french CB wanted to move on this year it may well have been him.

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