Europe in July, heavy legs and waning concentration


After losing the second leg against Salzburg in last season’s Champions League 3rd qualifying round, Qarabag eliminated Twente Enschede on away goals before having a good Europa League group stage.

Draws home and away to Saint Etienne, a home draw against Inter after a two goal defeat in the San Siro, and a win and a loss against Dnipro is enough form to suggest Celtic have a match on their hands.

On the positive side, Qarabag are also preseason, play on grass and Baku, their home city, is four hours ahead of Glasgow, so they will have a small jetlag adjustment to make for Wednesday’s game.  The final whistle will go after 1:30 in the morning Baku time.  Players find the latter part of any big game tiring, more so early in the season, so we have to push hard late in this game.  Qarabag will be vulnerable as concentration wanes and legs get heavy.

This tie feels very much like the Shakhter Karagandy play-off tie two years ago.  Shakhter arrived with a solid two goal lead, but an impassioned Celtic Park pushed us over the line.  A similar intensity will be required on and off the field on Wednesday.

What’s our chances?  Not sure, but we’ve a serious challenge on our hands.

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  1. Agree so much Paul.


    This is no time to lose our sense of urgency.


    These are huge games, difficult matches at a difficult time in the Season, letting our guard down and expecting easy progression would be a disaster.

  2. I still have to get the problem of thinking that if I’ve not heard of a European team they can’t be that good.





    Few mugs at this level. I’m sure the players have been made well aware of Qarabag’s strengths and frailties,and that Ronny will have a game-plan in place.



    Whether it is good enough,we will soon find out. But we have sufficient quality in our largely-settled team to beat them.



    We must have a night without passengers though.

  4. Its a tough draw but confident that Ronnie will have everyone ready and in the right frame of mind.

  5. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on

    I’ve previously said on this site that there are a few good Azerbaijani players, who it would be well worth Celtic having a look at. I also know that guys within the Bhoys of Baku CSC have tried to alert the club to this market, but no-one seems to have been interested.



    This will be a tough tie for us, of that I have no doubt.



    At least all those who make the trip to Baku will enjoy the trip!







    TBM Magazine……..






    It has been confirmed to TBM Magazine that Scott Brown will complete his move Tuesday morning.


    Mrs Brown’s Bhoy said “ It is the right time to move. It is really good to have my own place, and I will be settled in the new flat before Wednesday night’s game, and BTW, thanks for all the lovely house-warming gifts. The move went very smoothly and the removal ghuys were all Tims”……………:-)



    TBM, live from a secret address………..

  7. Technically speaking, we need to pump them big-time on Wednesday.



    Don’t fancy our chances in Baku with anything less than a 3/4-0 lead.



    Their hope needs comletely snuffed on Wednesday night.

  8. Seriously, I’m only going 3-1 on this I think they will score early on and we will need to pick them off, which I think we can do.

  9. I’m starting to worry because I ‘m confident of a great result on Wednesday.



    Whats that all aboutCSC

  10. Delaneys Dunky on

    Any victory with a clean sheet on Wednesday will suit me. Getting nervous already. Away to buy a ticket.


    Hail Hail

  11. coolmore mafia on

    Couldn’t agree more P67 – Even 0-0 going to the away leg wouldn’t be a disaster.



    Really hope Corbyn gets elected to labour leader. England needs him big time. Hopefully he’s not another PFI lackey for big business

  12. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    The most important thing about Wednesday’s game is not to concede a goal, especially early in the game, our achilles heel in past Euro ties.Their games tend to be low scoring so goals will be at a premium.



    We need to dominate the play by keeping the ball and making them work to chase it. Our passing must be crisp and accurate and no chances taken in defence.



    If we play a pressing game using our pacy players (GMS, Griffiths maybe Forrest) flat out for the first hour, they should hopefully tire (as per P67’s comment).



    A big support will also be a big advantage for us but they must be patient – the result is more important than the performance here.



    Would be delighted to take any away lead, 1-0 or 2-0, with the ‘0’ being crucial.

  13. Looking at their recent European record they seem to be better away from home than at home. Keeping a clean sheet is the most important part of the score on Wednesday, do that and we have a great chance.

  14. We really need to take a good lead to Baku – who knows how it will be over there – they seem to have a very good record at home.





    Anyone know if there’s truth to the Krammer rumours? Would be a great signing IMO if true, particularly if Stokes is out the door.



    Big lad, decent pace and skill and has scored a good ratio everywhere he’s been.

  15. Think we’re prone to switching off early in games recently, I think every team we’ve played have had early chances. Concentration will be our biggest problem. Keep that and we should do well.

  16. What a brilliant week-end that was.


    Great company and thanks to Owen, Jamie and Billy for a great 4 ball.


    Special thanks to Tony the Hibby as 6 wasn’t to be his greatest number at the week-end. I’ve never known anyone ti six putt, made my shite game feel no that bad after all.


    Absolutely delighted my signed ball fetched £500 for Tommy’s charity, I’ll let Kev tell a little bit more about the amount sent to Tommy’s skin cancer trust if he so wishes, needless to say, I’m stunned at our own’s generosity.


    Went through for the Rennes game on Saturday, I found it a really entartaining game to watch, even got the bonus of watching (very decent) 2 Celtic teams in the same game.





    Are you available for a wee sesh on 10/10? Glasgow somewhere.



    If so,CELTICROLLERCOASTER should have the latest version up for grabs.

  18. Canamalar


    In the 1st half at home to Starnjan they had 2 good chances to score through our lack of concentration and losing posession cheaply higher up the park,





    Six putts?



    Blinkin’ flip. I four putted once for a five at a par 3.



    Then finished wi three sevens for an 86,still my best ever. Hardly played after that.



    I don’t think the game misses me any more than I miss it!

  20. 100% concentration no silly mistakes, passing nice and crisp total patience throughout every game we will get there. Get through this tie we deserve to qualify for group stage

  21. dettolandblackash on

    Like the way Ronnie is using media to drum up attendance for Wednesday’s game -reminiscent of how Stein manipulated the press in the 60/70s



    12:30 on


    27 July, 2015




    Tony got a 7 on a par 3, he put it on the green with his tee shot……………..6 putts.



    It was the first hole.



    11:19 on


    27 July, 2015


    Think the biggest single factor in the take up of tickets is having to do something….



    Most of us now have ST’s and seldom need to do anything, other than turn up. having to get to the Ticket office; or wait on the call centre; or navigating through the on line maze is an issue. Coupled with the short time scale, we’ll be doing well to get 40000.





    That is precisely the problem,50% of the people going to games especially away games are spoon fed by a Club organising tickets etc.



    To re-capture what I term the Martin O’Neill fans we need to make ticket availability easier,visiting the TO is not always convenient and the phones can be an annoyance.



    Some years ago I proposed that ticket availability should be via ATM’s as they are everywhere and have a printer facility,we now have upgraded access points at all turnstiles so to read a print out should be easy,plus there is no need for a conventional cardboard ticket shape.


    Airports are doing it why not us,plus we should develop and Patent the system.



    Will it happen,no chance,our mentality seems to be that we generate cash by selling Capri Sun drinks at £1.50 each, which can be purchased in ASDA etc at 10 for £2.



    That is the attitude which expects customers to come as opposed to be attracted,there will be a person getting paid very good money presiding over this crowd demise and doing sod all to reverse.

  24. They were not prolific scorers last season. 3 goals in the EL group stages vs our 10. Seem quite strong at the back though, so hopefully we can break them down.






    12:30 on 27 July, 2015







    Six putts?



    Blinkin’ flip. I four putted once for a five at a par 3.



    Then finished wi three sevens for an 86,still my best ever. Hardly played after that.



    I don’t think the game misses me any more than I miss it!




    right enough SPRINGBURN PARK putting green can be quite tricky at times.

  26. ‘Heavy legs?’



    Remember a couple of ‘old’ girlfriends who fitted the description!






    3-0 on Wednesday.




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