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. B M C i cant handle drink over 30 yrs not touched the stuff


    but i would meet you anywere,if you are going to the game on Wed


    just tell me the place ill be there

  2. I agree that not letting them score is the most important thing, as I think we will score out there.



    Happily take 4/1 or 5 /1 mind you :-)






    When you hear all the labour mp’s throwing their toys oot of the pram at the prospect of yer man getting elected says more about them, no wonder the party is in the crap it is, they don’t give a flying feck about anything other than themselfs, feck the electorate.




  3. themelvingael on

    North Cyprus Bhoy


    Will be taking my 15 year old daughter with me next week(to Baku).slightly concerned about it .anything i need to look out for re dress code etc with her beinng with me.thanks for any advice

  4. mullet and co 2 on

    My biggest fear is lack of concentration from us in the opening 10 mins. It’s a consistent aberration. That an Celtic being synonymous with fights over penalties and also generally missing them.


    I hope Johansen got absolutely nailed for that penalty incident.


    Must be a while since we won 2-1 at home. Not ideal if that is the result but I’d have some confidence if we could lead by 1 going into the second leg. Something tells me this will be a toasy affair.

  5. oneofthe70percent on

    we had a better team and a better manager,against Karagandy,and still struggled,cannot see any difference since last year,we look weaker in defence and if he starts with Ciftci we will be lucky to score at all,and if I was Griffiths i would be in his office on thursday discussing my future,after all our top scorer not playing while a big fat leg biter is first choice,just like the useless berget was this time last year.

  6. Watching that Karagandy video and marveling at that mazy run of Stokes to set up Forrests winner.


    He can be brilliant at times.



    I also imagine that Scotland is the same as USA and you should be able to buy and print tickets online without the need to go to ticket office.


    You can also buy cinema tickets with phone and have it scanned at theatre without any paper use.

  7. I’m not feeling that confident.



    I’d bite the hand off you for 1-0, 2-0 & even then I think we’ll need to score away from home.



    This team are strong by all accounts & can score away from home.



    fingers crossed.





    Good man on giving it up,mate. Much respect for that.



    I won’t be at the match-I live in Swindon-but CQN Corner beside the superstore is a good place to meet the troops.



    The badges should be available from October.



    Btw,there are a fair few non-drinkers attend. You wouldn’t look out of place. Well,mibbe towards the end of the night…

  9. N me, I’m happy with the managers progress and quite happy to let him make the decisions, if I was the Griff I’d be happy with the manager and his help improving my game and I wouldn’t be in any hurry to start making stupid demands, especially with the future looking so bright.







    Ha f…..g ha. My best round ever-by a mile-and it was still crap. That’s why I chucked it!






    Gotta feel for the guy. I think I’d have joined Oldtim and Blantyretim rather than play on.

  11. Mullet and co 2


    I think the last two games have shown lapses in concentration at the back.


    VVD is guilty of switching off at times.


    Hope the crowd is big and gets team in the mood.


    My bigger concern is the way our tempo slows in final third.


    We move ball well then seem to stall in last third allowing teams to set defensively.


    Better off the ball movement in this area would make a huge difference

  12. themaestro72 on

    Hopefully we get a good win and a clean sheet on Wednesday.



    I’m slightly concerned about VVD – if we qualify is he staying and if we’re knocked out we’re selling him?



    Hopefully he will have his professional head on and everyone concentrates 100%.

  13. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I see our dearly departed friend George Ryan (St JohnDoyle) get a good mention inEvening times in relation to the strike just ended by the homeless officers at Glasgow City



    A true man of the people


    Rip big mam

  14. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on




    13:05 on 27 July, 2015



    Think VVD will be sold whether or not we reach the CL group stage……think that will be the ‘agreement’ …….

  15. I’m hoping that Big Virgil stamps his authority on the game and holds the defence together to make sure there are no scary moments.



    And if Izzy is playing….



    I hope we score 4

  16. Had a rummage around


    Johansen felt a sore after the stjarnan game and rested to be ready for Wednesday.


    Lustig is only getting one game a week to make sure he doesn’t over do it, jmccormick see what they are doing there, they’re no letting him run a marathon just yet.

  17. Looking forward to Wednesday, very confident, like the shape of the team, trust RD and the coaching staff to pick the right team and tactics, any win without loosing a goal will do me fine, if it’s a 0-0 then so be it, now in saying all that, I hope I am saying “see a told you” on Thursday, there are other posts on today as I said yesterday with the other side of the “see a told yi” hope none of them are sitting beside me, cmon the hoops,.


    Lurking Huns GIRGUYs.

  18. Hoping for a good turnout on Wednesday, although I think it could be a lower attendance than for the Starjnam game.



    Hopefully not.




  19. leftclicktic on

    Big Virgil could have gave away a penalty and been sent off( two seperate incidents) in the 1st 7 mins on Saturday.

  20. leftclicktic on

    Just seen on twitter



    “Fascinating fact, 18.9% of Dundee’s population was Irish born in 1851, a figure surpassed only by Liverpool in the UK.


    they came to work in the jute mills. mainly from the Irish counties where linen and yarn were produced”.


    every day is a school day.


    Till later all.

  21. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on




    12:52 on 27 July, 2015




    She’ll probably get some attention from the local lads – my daughter certainly did when she was over. However, they won’t give you, or her, any bother. They are very friendly people.



    Although Azerbaijan is a mainly Muslim country, it is very relaxed compared to many others. So relaxed, in fact, that your head will be spinning!



    If you are there early, the CSC is in the centre of town, and the Bhoys will be meeting up there before going to the game.




  22. What is the Stars on




    In1850 the Irish made up approx. 25% of the population of New York

  23. coolmore mafia on

    I’m sitting here thinking………………..



    about big Pierre VH.



    After he won the UEFA (I think) with Feyenoord, he talked of his father. His parents were both white, and his wife had an extramarital affair.



    When he was born, the obvious eyeopener was that the baby was black. He talks of his father raising him as his own, and that in his opinion, this is what a real man is like. I don’t know why I am so moved thinking about this, but I couldn’t agree more.

  24. The Battered Bunnet on

    Enjoyed the Rennes match on Saturday, although was a tad surprised at Rennes’ aptness for le dullyin.



    Young Janko looked like an interesting footballer during his second half, good feet, good use of the ball, although we didn’t se him under much pressure on that side, so can’t comment on his defending.



    Speaking of which, the concern with Ronny’s team is the space behind our full backs that his formation offers the opposition. Even Stjarnan managed to find it, and ought to have scored at Celtic Park with a cross from the space behind Izzy finding the man at the back post, sans Lustig.



    In Euro knock out ties, goals conceded at home tends to be the arbiter. The away goals rule means the game’s a bogey for teams who leave space at the back.



    It’ll be interesting to see if Ronny adjusts his approach for the Qarabag match in this light. Remember, this is largely the same Celtic team that conceded 15 goals in 8 Europa League matches last season. On that form, Qarabag might expect to score 3 goals over the 2 legs. That’ll be entertaining…



    In the context of this qualifying tie, Entertaining football = Winning the tie. The quality of entertainment on Wednesday night will be determined purely by the result. Moreover, by the likelihood of progressing to the next round given the score.



    I’ll take a ‘turgid’ 2-0 right now.

  25. Eyes Wide Open on

    The concern for me is if we were at home for the 1st leg against Shaktar Karagandy we wouldnt have taken the 2/3-0 win needed to win the tie across to theirs for the 2nd leg.



    There needs to be a ruthlessness about us on Wednesday and if we are 1 or 2 goals up and have the wind behind our sails carry on as if its 0-0.



    We are stepping a wee bit into the unknown over there so need to place wednesday as if its the cup final.

  26. mullet and co 2 on

    One of the 70 percent,



    Neil Lennon and his team had us 2 nil down when we played Karagandy at home. The tactical abberation in that away leg and lack of respect and concentration left us needing a 3 nil victory. No doubt that Neil is pound for pound the better Celtic manager at the moment but I see the potential in Ronny. Not entirely sure the team then was stronger than it is now…


    Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, Mulgrew, Lustig, Brown, Commons, Ledley, Forrest, Samaras, Stokes.



    Gordon is much the same, VVD is an improvement on Ambrose… The whole defence is an improvement. Out of the rest of the team only Samaras would be better than what we currently have available. Thousands would disagree.


    As for Griffiths v Ciftci. Ciftci holds the ball up and has more chance to bring the rest of the team in, he is more skilful. Griffiths certainly puts them away but not sure how effective he can be against higher class opposition.


    I remember John Hartson volleying Eyal Berkovic and all was forgiven… Even his compadre Grifiths has had some colourful incidents. How come you only mentioned Ciftci bite and not Griffiths indiscretions?





    It was a genuine pleasure meeting George Ryan for the one and only time.



    And a greater pleasure still that he and my Dad knew each other from old and started the reminiscing.



    I think he would despair at the state of The Labour Party now. But I doubt he would just put his head in his hands.

  28. leftclicktic on





    13:19 on 27 July, 2015




    Thank you for that,


    How good is the picture quality ,


    Just thinking that 50 year later John Fallon & Charlie Gallagher are still there supporting the Celtic home & away .



  29. TBB,


    Got to say the only time the bhoy Janko was put under pressure (by two of their player mind) he acquitted himself with distinction, I’d be tempted to play him.

  30. leftclicktic


    13:16 on


    27 July, 2015





    Bitton and Charlie had a bit of a mare to begin with also, I think the slowness of the ball over the new pitch (the grass seemed a wee bit too long to me) was catching our ‘ball passers’ out.



    Bitton started to lift the ball off the ground slightly after a couple of his grounded passes were short.

  31. Latest from JPT for those travelling to Baku:



    CelticFC SLO ‏@CelticFCSLO 2m2 minutes ago


    Info those travelling Baku, I need Full Name and Passport No by tomorrow AM. Indications are Visas will be paid on arrival in Baku c. £100

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