Champions League perils for play-off seeds


The Champions League play-off round can be a horrible place for seeds against teams with lesser reputations.  Celtic drew Helsingborgs from a group of five possible teams.  Three of the other four were away from home in the first leg but two recorded wins.

Hapoel Kiryat Shmona lost 2-0 away to Bate Borisov while Maribor lost 2-1 away to Dinamo (no longer Croatia) Zagreb.

Romanians, Cluj, recorded an excellent 1-2 away win against our old friends Basel, while AEL Limassol beat Anderlecht 2-1 in Cyprus.  Maribor and Cluj will fancy their chances of eliminating the seed, while Limassol have a fighting chance.

In other news, HJK Helsinki are not going to drop to the Europa League group stage after we eliminated them from the Champions League earlier this month.  Last season’s finalists, Athletic Bilbao, hit them for six (first cricket metaphor on CQN?) last night.

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  1. My XI for Inverness:



    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Forster :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    Matthews :::::::::::::: Wilson ::::::::::: Mulgrew :::::::::::: Izaguirre



    Forrest ::::::::::::::::: Brown :::::::::::: Wanyama :::::::::: McCourt



    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Hooper ::::::::::: Stokes :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::



    “If only I’d had that team against Butcher Cumberland,” sighed the pale, periwigged popinjay.

  2. wonkyradar




    15:17 on 24 August, 2012




    I once went on a foursomes holiday at a nudist swingers holiday complex…worried I might stiffen up but it was a bit like a centre parc without the roof, dangly bits, and lots of guys that look like the naked rambler….just watch you don’t spill any soup down the front of you.





    Things I didn’t expect to read today on CQN No1……………











    From what you say,her maw would just pop in,free her and take her place.


    The stuff of nightmares!

  4. So here was I thinking we’ve sold Dave Ki and we know that the only thing Dave disliked more than the Huns was Japan.



    Dave Ki is gonnae be a great player but we want to sign a Japanese player but Dave says not while I’m here.



    Hey presto Dave sold and two Japanese players on the radar.



    But neither will be coming unless we get through to CL Group stages.



    Is my reckoning right or have I been on the saki.


    Worried about hammer throwers at Inverness?



    Coincidentally,the Cowal Games is on,I think,so they might have other things to do,but I digress.



    Simple answer. Said so before.



    Play Tony Watt.



    Anyone dishing it out to him had better have private medical insurance.



    On speed-dial………..


    TINTANIUM 1529



    I sincerely hope not-that is redolent of why another Dave-Cooper-left Rangers.



    IMO,we decided to cash in on him.



    For peanuts,naturally.



    I wish Martin O’Neill had rated him!

  7. fan-a-tic



    Sorry Mate but that’s not true, Neil more than any other Celtic manager has the young players debuting and traveling with the senior squad all the time…



    Tony Watt, Dylan McGeough, Calumn McGregor, Marcus Fraser, Filip Twardzik have all played at first team level so far..



    Keating going out on loan could simply be because of his injury he has fallen behind in the pecking order to Tony Watt, Keatings in my opinion will make the grade..



    Neil also watches the young Bhoys all the time and really spends time with their development, I think we are well on track in that department..

  8. david peter deans



    “Just a question with regards to


    the sale of Ki to Swansea for £5


    million . Neil Lennon as said this


    is good business, could anyone


    please explain to me that


    turning down Ruban kazans


    offer of £6 million early in the


    year and excepting the Swansea


    offer of £1 million less is good


    business. Or are the figs quoted





    I said couple of days go that I checked all Russian websites (googled them) on Rubin Kazan being apparently interested in Ki. There was not the smallest sign of the confirmation of the story.


    Quite contrary , when the rumours leaked from Scottish press to the Russian press, Rubin Kazan spokesman told to their press that they were never ever interested in the player. I speak Russian and do not work for Daily Record.

  9. @ starry plough



    Totally agree mate. I really like the fact that Lennon is keen to get the young players involved.



    For me the days of exciting signings are gone, at least until Scottish football stabilizes somewhat. Excitement for me will be seeing some of our young players coming through and showing what they can do. I have high hopes for a few of them.



    Saying that I would like to see Russell in the hoops!

  10. Matt McGlone tweeted the other day £6.5m with add ons taking it up to £8m with 15% sell on, sounds about right to me.

  11. Saltires en Sevilla:



    Butcher of Cumberland will be seeking to re-enact the local battle of 1746 on a nearby moor.



    Pesky redcoats!




    Is that Butlins red coats? A re-enactment of Culloden starring Jimmy Cricket, Mick Millar, Bucks Fizz, Jimmy Tarbuck, and Michael Barrymore all running around Culloden screaming in panic as they are fired at by field artillery…I would pay to watch that.

  12. I broke a rule last night and had clyde SSB on a radio near me. Jangle Jackson “just can’t get his around why so many celtic supporters are obsessing about rangers (sic) keeping their history (sic)”



    where to start….



    What I can’t get my head around is how the MSM bampots can sidestep what could be the biggest sporting scandal in UK history with the EBTs and double contracts. Never mind an oft repeated clubs claim to be the most succesful club in world football who bankrolled it on the never never only to self implode and attempt to take the national game with it with death threats,threats of boycots, marches to offices, calling out a judicial panel to the danger of their lives. help me here jangle….

  13. Sixteen roads to Golgotha on

    Why did they not wait until after these CL games before selling Ki?



    Did we really need the lousy £6million that badly?



    Don’t know if he has put pen to paper,but if not,the transfer should immediately be cancelled.



    Anyway 67 to start in the centre of midfield against those turnips,with Chuck on the left of midfield.Wilson is the only other option to start at centre half along with Rogne.



    Reserve team at ICT.



    4-6-0 for the CL game.





    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: FF ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::




    :::::::::: Matthews :::::::::::::::::::::: Rogne :::::::::::::::::: Wilson ::::::::::::::::::: Emilio ::::::::::::




    :::::::::: Brown ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 67 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Chuck ::::::::::::




    :::::::::: Forrest :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Samaras :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Commons :::::

  14. Logical Optimist on

    See Lance Armstrong is probably gonna be stripped of his 7 tour victories. Correct and right in my book. Met the guy once. Have to say he was a gent. Does it make it right what he did ? Absolutely not. In his life he won his biggest battle. Wel done him an anybody else fighting that fight.


    sixteen roads to golgatha



    Worked a treat the last time we played without a recognised striker.

  16. Steinreignedsupreme on

    It’s impossible to be a Greek Love God without the flowing locks and occasional facial hair.



    Short back and sides is for GI Joe – and his idea of football involves heavy padding and a crash helmet.

  17. Sixteen roads



    None of my business I know, but I think you need a wee colectomy there!



    Things should work better after that :-)



    Hail Hail




  18. Sixteen roads to Golgotha on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS – It should be enough to see us through to the group stages mate.



    Only reason there is no Hooper is because he is immobile, also doesn’t do enough tracking back.Granted he scored against the Finns,but we can’t afford any passengers in this game.

  19. 16 roads



    Ki wasn’t getting a regular game, his profile is high due to the Olympics, between 6-8m is a good bit of business, real game and 2 CL qualifiers and 10 players off the wages with hopefully CL/el money, gate receipts and tv money should rake in around 20-25m, which should allow for at least 2 signings, which Lenny should pick, my preference would be kenwyne jones or johnny Russell and a cb would do me. This would help sell more SBs.




  20. Terry Butcher is hoping that his side can cause Celtic further trouble in the Highlands, and go one better than their Dingwall neighbours.



    The reigning champions struggled to a 1-1 draw with Ross County last week, and now face a third away trip in a week, after their exploits in Helsingborg.



    Inverness will play host to Celtic this weekend, and Terry Butcher is intent on making the most of any potential weariness in the title favourites.



    Butcher said: “[Last week] I think they possibly had one eye on the European match and they’ll be coming to us with a different mindset.



    “Once again they’re heading north and we’ll be wanting to make it as uncomfortable as we possibly can, just like our neighbours in the north.



    “I would like to think that we can give them as hard a game as we possibly can. We’ve got our own agenda; we’re unbeaten this season, it’s a very big game for us and it’s a game to relish and look forward to.”



    The Inverness manager also believes that his team will have a chance to show the television audience exactly what they can do.



    He concluded: “Celtic are a team that everyone wants to play against and they’ll have had this on their calendar for some time. They’ll be on the phone and emails to people down south to tune into this match.



    “It’s the third game in a week that they’ve had to travel and we want to make it the most difficult of the three.”

  21. From the official site



    Manager calls on squad for testing trip


    By: Laura Brannan on 24 Aug, 2012 14:31


    NEIL Lennon is missing a string of first-team regulars for Saturday´s clash with Inverness Caledonian Thistle but regardless of what side he fields, he knows it will be a tough test in the Highlands.



    Joe Ledley and Beram Kayal have both been ruled out following scans to their groin and ankle respectively, while Scott Brown, Georgios Samaras, Kris Commons and Thomas Rogne are all doubts. Anthony Stokes remains on the sidelines along with Daryl Murphy and Dylan McGeouch.



    As a result, the manager has had to put his faith in a number of Development Squad players for the trip north but he is confident they will perform if they are called upon.



    “The squad´s a bit stretched again, there are a few bumps and bruises from Tuesday night and we will have to change the team a little bit,” he said”.



    “Regardless of whether we went with a full-strength team or not, it would still be a difficult game against Inverness and Ross County was the same last week. We played okay, not brilliantly, but we at least deserved a point out of the game on chances created and possession we had. I´m looking for a bit more urgency tomorrow.



    “They´re (Joe and Beram) not long-term injuries and we have Victor Wanyama coming back into the squad for tomorrow. We still have options in all positions that we are looking at just now.



    “The midfield is probably the strongest department at the club. We still have Brown, Wanyama, Twardzik and Mulgrew at a push who can come in and play there. Like I say, the injuries aren’t majorly concerning, particularly Joe´s.



    “Beram´s is a little bit of a worry because it´s the other ankle, not the one he had surgery on. It´s been a bit stop-start for him but it´s early in the season. He worked really hard in the close-season to get himself fit and he´s suffering a wee bit of reaction from not playing.”



    Inverness currently sit a point behind Celtic in the SPL table, and after coming from behind last week to draw 2-2 with Hearts, the manager is aware of how testing the lunchtime kick-off will be.



    “They´ll be well motivated and physical and I think they´re playing a little bit more football this season,” he continued. “They had a great result at the weekend, coming from two down with 10 men.



    “Their spirit and attitude has never been in question and I think Terry Butcher has improved Inverness over the years. They shop around well and attract players from England, which is a difficult thing to do. They seem to have a bit more hunger about them every year.”



    Another test Celtic face is the mental and physical exhaustion which has come with all the travelling and fixtures in recent weeks. In seven days alone, the Hoops have travelled up to the Highlands, to and from Sweden, and are now embarking on another bus journey north.



    “A lot of focus have been on these Champions League games and it´s a concern that people think we´re taking our eye off the ball domestically,” the Irishman continued. “We´re not, we´re just trying to manage the squad as best we can for all of these games.



    “It´s been a really hectic, difficult schedule and I think the players have handled it pretty well. It´s been tiring, it´s really tough. Physically it´s very demanding on the players, and mentally as well.



    “I see Terry was saying we´ll be getting a 45-minute plane journey up, but we´re not. We bused last week and we´ll be busing today as well.”

  22. KDC@15:55 It was,nt Jingles Jackson on SSB it was the equally inept Mark Guidi. The MSM are in total denial about Sevco but I think they know they are skating on thin and getting thinner by the minute. Hail Hail Hebcelt

  23. I Think we will Find that the ‘Supplements’ Lance Armstrong took are OK With 99% of Cyclists..its just The American Anti Doping loby that Cry Wolf..



    Nobody objected to Rangers in the Manchester season giving Players ‘Supplements’ as the Went on the Park..(Subs)..







  24. Sixteen roads to Golgotha on

    Estadio – Lol aye you could be right.Either that or get part of the brain removed! :)

  25. Sixteen roads to Golgotha on

    kikinthenakas – Fair enough,but i don’t know why there was this mad rush to sell Ki for.Surely we could have waited another 5 days before doing so?



    We have fewer options now with him not available for this CL game.There is no getting away from that fact.

  26. The squad drove up today. Two trips to the Highlands either side of a CL qualifier. Some fixtures computer that SPL has got…

  27. Bobby Murdoch’s Curled Up Winkle Pickers



    TBH I was just being mischievous.



    I also think the Davie Cooper thing is a bit codswallop as well. I used to play fives with Cooper and not once did he come across the narrow minded bigot some have portrayed. He used to bring other young players from Murderwell at the time like Dolan to make up the numbers.



    I have to say I found him a nice unassuming guy.



    I would have liked to have seen Davie Cooper play in a team with more flair than the ones he had to play in.

  28. Right folks its the 2nd weekend of the The Kano Foundation Predictor.


    Plenty of time still to join in and be in with a shout especially as we are going to add a Champions League one into the mix (assuming nothing stupid happens next Wed) so that we get our Celtic fix!


    All points accumulated in CL predictor will be added to the EPL one so hunners of points still up for grabs. C’mon Get signed up only cost ye a fiver (and thats later on not right now :





    Pool name: TKF Predictor


    Pool code: gothposh






  29. KJam



    I haven’t seen enough of Johnny Russell to say if we should buy him, I’ve seen enough of Tony Watt though to think he will break through this season if we sign Russell he won’t so my preference would be to see a home reared player breaking into the team and let Utd keep Russell and give us a game for the league!



    If we rear our own players we are really building for a future that we can be proud of and maybe even an academy that will get a name for itself like Ajax!!



    Bring on the Highland Swedes..

  30. One day CQN will be a happy, tranquil place where we just enjoy supporting the greatest club in the world and we wont just constantly bitch about it…

  31. Sixteen roads……



    Don’t do that…trust me…’ll only end up posting tosh and tripe.



    I watched one of yon Hannibal Lecter prequels where he cut open the guys head, removed a bit of the cerebral cortex, replaced the skull, cooked the sample and then shared it for breakfast with then donor. The film itself was poor but I did notice that the poor victim had his laptop open and was posting some utter sheugh under a name beginning with a K and ending in an O. :-)



    Mind you, I’ve had similar done and it was an unforgettable day when I attained the glorified altitude of tosh and tripe!



    Hail Hail