At Saturday’s, league game at home to strugglers, Hermanstadt, Cluj manager Dan Petrescu rested every single player who started against Celtic last week. Whatever modest noises he makes in the media before tomorrow’s game, Cluj are prepared to throw everything into beating Celtic.
They will arrive in Glasgow today planning to hit Celtic on the break, as they did in Romania on Wednesday. By contrast, Celtic have three days to recover from their comfortable win at Fir Park.
Neil Lennon called it right being critical of how Celtic opened against Motherwell on Saturday. At times, our passing and long-ball game were reminder of the early 90s. Fortunately, there was an ocean of talent to put things right.
Defensively there remains a lot of work to do. Straight from kick off, Motherwell sent a high ball towards Boli Bolingoli, almost certainly trying to put the new full back under pressure. Boli is no Kieran Tierney, but you and I have been here through discouraging early performances from Moussa Dembele and Virgil van Dijk, so we know to give the lad time, right?
The same goes for Christian Jullien. Since leaving Toulouse in May, the big centre half had played 106 minutes football before Motherwell. He was caught underneath the corner Motherwell scored their 91st minute consolation from – not a good look for a towering defender.
By that stage, fatigue would have been his biggest opponent. Earlier in the game, he looked composed, including when he made a decision to pass across the face of goal to Scott Bain. Both players will improve as they get up to speed.