Cluj on a roll but the stats flatter


I thought it would be worth looking at our next Champions League qualification opponents from the Cluj-Maccabi Tel-Aviv tie.  The Romanians won their home leg 1-0, leaving the outcome wide open.

With 3.5 coefficient points, Cluj look like a dangerous non-seed.  They eliminated Astana, who have 27.5 points (Celtic have 31), in the first round and hold that slim advantage over Maccabi Tel-Aviv, who have 16 points, but there are signs in the detail that these results flatter.

Celtic twice faced strong Kazak opposition in recent years but not only did this Astana team lose to Cluj, they managed only a 0-0 draw in the Europa League qualifiers in Andorra this week.  On the face of it, this result looks a bit like Celtic’s afternoon in Gibraltar three years ago, but unlike Celtic then, Astana 19 games into their season.  It looks like the fizz has flowed out of Kazak football, to the benefit of Cluj.

Both Cluj and Maccabi Tel-Aviv were in close season over the summer, but their preparations could not have been more different.  Before their game this mid-week, Cluj played five friendlies, a Super Cup game, two qualifiers against Astana and two domestic league games.  Maccabi Tel-Aviv arrived in Romania having played only three friendlies and a Super Cup game since May.

After 10 games, the Cluj squad would have been near full fitness.  After four, not many of the Maccabi squad will have played a complete 90 minute game.  Cluj are ready, Maccabi are not.

Celtic will have played nine games, including our opening league encounter, by the third round.  Not as many as Cluj, but we will be well up to speed.  I remember taking a look at AEK Athens this time last year and getting an ominous feeling.  The draw has been significantly kinder this time.

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  1. prestonpans bhoys on

    Good afternoon from the good ship Swan on lake Windermere, time for a pint and HH to all😂

  2. glendalystonsils on

    There should have been no ominous feelings going into the AEK tie other than those created by the Rodgers/China/Moussa/Boyata pantomime.


    This season is a bit more stable.

  3. PAUL67



    I must be a saddo like you and carried out similar investigation and reported back to my


    squad ” Astana drew 0-0 in Andorra so must be P*$* ”



    However one other bit of data i got was that none of the other Romanian clubs have lost a game


    which might be due to them also having a couple of league games under their belt but not to be


    sneered at.





  4. Probably a forlorn hope,but the Swiss RB,raised my pulse rate a bit when I read his agent was in hospitality for Wednesdays game.

  5. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.





    Maybe we’re on a roll, a Swiss roll !!!


    O.k back to planning my attack on the brewery.


    H.H Mick

  6. Melbourne Mick on




    The cluje up the close, it must be mind boggling for the young dudes


    on CQN to even imagine how many families were using the one toilet for


    each landing, down on the bottom entrance to the building there was


    four families using the one toilet.


    Don’t think you want to imagine what it was like at the weekend when


    the menfolk spent their wages on the guinness and us kids needed to


    empty our potty.


    Ah memories.


    H.H Mick

  7. playfusbal4dguilders on

    John Park joins Falkirk as director of football under a new owner. Hmmmm




  8. Melbourne Mick on




    Thats what the Luftwaffe seen when they bombed Scotia.


    Huns eh?


    H.H Mick


    so you are driving a powerful 4×4 and two guys with knives try to steal it.they are then round the back of car and at front fighting with your pal .



    WHAT DO YOU DO ?????????

  10. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Melbourne Mick,



    My family of 5 lived in two rooms – but we did have the “luxury” of an inside cluj in our room and kitchen – something that the poor sods on the ground floor didn’t have.



    Some things certainly changed significantly for the better wrt housing – although the Glasgow city planners probably got more things wrong than right over the years.

  11. Melbourne Mick on




    I’m sure that was big Peter jetting in Andreas Hinkel lol


    H.H Mick

  12. Favourite Uncle


    Sometimes I find,a damn good talking to ,reminding them of what the good book says on the subject,of”Envying your neighbours Ass”or in your case,huge muscle car,does the trick.Followed by a nice cup of tea,made by your good wifes own hand,should calm all parties down.


    Hold on a minute,you are not asking this in real time,are you?If so,just Machete the bassas.


    Hope this helps.

  13. Every club we play are league winners so have my respect. If we get through to group stage of c/l it will have been earned. Take nothing for granted.



    We have spent about 12 million this season. still Need a rightback. If kt goes we will Need a rightback too. Same goes for ntcham and rogic for that matter.



    A striker is needed if we are gonna play 2 up top a lot, but then shved played up top last season so maybe not




  14. Melbourne Mick on




    Yes, they got a load wrong but i’m still standing, and many other CQN’rs


    so maybe our upbringing made us tougher?


    At the end of the day i’m still here, me and my family are all Celtic mad


    my friends , my Celtic club, my youth club in Oz? i reckon i was la lucky


    son of a tim 8-))


    H.H Mick

  15. mullet and co 2 on

    Hello Dudu.



    Our scouts are identifying players that other teams are interested in.


    You got anyone no one is interested in but might be cheap and anxious to come here?



    Wee Gordon Strachan told us years ago he didn’t need to go and see players as the Club did all that. Why is Neil Lennon going to watch players and why is this different from most clubs I know off whose managers don’t go to matches?


    Will the data analyst be replaced?


    Does anyone at the club keep a record of who scouts recommend and then how the player has done if we don’t sign them? Worthwhile rooting out the good scouts from the bad.


    Still think we will see a Man City player or someone else they want to develop come here.


    Anyone ever tried to develop a list of our targets v the agent that represents them?


    Do we avoid some players because of their agent?

  16. Melbourne Mick on




    Interesting analysis about who is rooting out the players.


    Personally i’d like to root out who identified Comperr.


    H.H Mick

  17. glendalystonsils on

    I see Lenny now talking about contingency plans if KT goes. It’s very wise to have such plans but I can’t help feeling that as soon as that £25m is waved in front of Peters nose it’ll be ta ta to the player who could/would/should have been our next captain.


    The buy/develop/sell for big bucks plan is fine but I feel certain players , particularly home grown academy products should form the core of the team for a bit longer.

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