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Lack of merit in opponents in Europe is no reassurance

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Sarajevo started this season’s European campaign with a Champions League qualifying win in Wales over Connah’s Quay Nomads (CQN…), before losing in Belorussia to Dynamo Brest.  They then eliminated Montenegrins Buducnost Podgorica from Europa qualification, a result that allowed them to progress to tonight’s playoff game against Celtic.

Last season we beat them home and away in Champions League qualification and they left the Europa in the next round at the hands of BATE Borisov.  This is not a team with European pedigree.

You and I both know none of that matters come kick off, we have seen Celtic eliminated from Europe by far weaker teams too many times in the last decade to allow the lack of merit an opponent possesses to reassure us.

Sarajevo will have studied two templates, how Ferencvaros won at Celtic Park and how Riga took us to the 90th minute (they could also check games against Kilmarnock, St Mirren and Dundee United).  Their game plan will inevitably follow the same pattern of defending deep and hoping to snatch something on the counter.

I expect a Celtic win.  Jeremie Frimpong will play and Sarajevo will double up on him, which might not be enough to inhibit the wingback, but it will allow us more freedom on the left, an increasing feature of our season.

It is great to have Christopher Jullien back in the squad.  He will inevitably replace Nir Bitton, but I am not sure of the wisdom of throwing him in tonight.  We have suffered from a lack of consistency at the back.  Neil Lennon will have to choose between keeping a consistent defence for tonight, or setting down the template he will hope to deploy in crucial games later this month.  For me, the next game is always the priority.

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  1. Pingback: Lack of merit in opponents in Europe is no reassurance Paul67 - Celtic FC News Aggregation

  2. If it’s a deep lying team, from Sunday it looks like Turnbull is the sort of player to open them up.

     

     

    I would be surprised if he starts but if he doesn’t and we do need some inspiration I hope he gets enough time to show us what he can do.

  3. And a good afternoon from Poland.

     

     

    Heading back into Krakow after a couple of days in the mountains at Zakopane.

     

     

    Here’s to a Celtic win and £2 pints of beer 🍺

  4. glendalystonsils on

    All complacency should have been knocked out of us by now . We ought to progress tonight but longer term we will have to solve the big conundrum . That of getting past lesser opponents in domestic knock out competitions with regularity while struggling to do so in Europe.

  5. Has Big Jimmy been on?

     

     

    The last post I saw he was a bit under the weather.

     

     

    Hope he’s OK.

  6. lets all do the huddle on

    All complacency should have been knocked out of us by now . We ought to progress tonight but longer term we will have to solve the big conundrum . That of getting past lesser opponents in domestic knock out competitions with regularity while struggling to do so in Europe.

     

    —-

     

     

    ohh we already know the solution to that problem (see Gene’s post above for a simple description of it)

     

     

    its the mangers reluctance to implement it which is the biggest issue

     

     

    fuelled by a lot of fans obsession with having as many scottish players in our team as possible

     

     

    we have the worst scottish international team for decades yet some folk think its great when our starting line up has 6 scots in it

     

     

    the opposition also think it is great

     

     

    hence our shocking defeats in europe

  7. ERNIE LYNCH on 1ST OCTOBER 2020 12:28 PM

     

     

    Has Big Jimmy been on?

     

     

    The last post I saw he was a bit under the weather.

     

     

    Hope he’s OK.

     

     

    ————————————————————————

     

     

    Somebody hack your Log In ?

  8. Mad Mitch at Distorted reasoning Centre

     

     

    “We were big in Europe for 8 seasons in our pomp.

     

    They were big in Europe for 5 seasons.”

     

     

    We were a world class side between 1966 and 1974 , then we rapidly dropped off from that level never coming near to winning anything in Europe unti 2003 when we lost a final.

     

     

    Ajax won the EC 3 times in 1971- 1973 inclusive and won it again in 1995

     

    They won the ECWC in 1987 and were runners up in 1988

     

    They won the UEFA Cup in 1992

     

    They lost a CL final in 1996

     

    In our recovery year of 2003, they reached the CL quarter final stage, a higher achievment than being a losing UEFA finalist

     

    In 2017 they reached another CL final- a remarkable achievement after a decade or more of only moderate achievement.

     

    And in 2020/21- they have automatic entry into CL Group stage.

     

     

     

    They have been relevant in Europe in the 1970/s , the 80’s, the 90’s and in the past decade.

     

     

    Any neutral fan who hears the argument that “we are as big a club as Ajax” in terms of historical achievement and consistency of achievement will laugh at you.

  9. It kind of depends which Celtic turn up. If its Hibernian then we will win, but, if its Riga then it can go either way.

     

     

    I reckon that after previous European games like Cluj and Ferencevaros, against Riga we adopted a posture to avoid being caught on the break. This resulted in Taylor passing back to McGregor on every chance. He never once tried to beat his man. He had clearly been told to give it to mcGregor.

     

     

    We need to take a chance and attack Sarajevo. Possession is not the be all and end all of the match. We need to play 2 up and press high up the park.

     

     

    HAVE A GO CELTIC

  10. Paul67 – “but it will allow us more freedom on the left, an increasing feature of our season”.

     

     

     

     

    Yeah, for fear of triggering the usual suspects, there is a reason opposition teams double up on Forrest/Frimpong and push us left but I’ve made my point.

     

     

    The low block needs players of a creative gene and not a sitting DM in front of a high line. Players like McGregor, Turnball, Rogic, Ntcham, Elyanoussi and Frimpong are a must.

     

     

    I expect Neil Francis Lennon esquire will ignore my pleas and I’ll watch with trepidation (on a crappy stream, buffering like Kris Boyd’s brain when asked to speak on telly).

     

     

    Any win will do csc.

     

     

    HH

  11. ah just luv big paragraphs.:-))

     

     

    One Celtic.:-))

     

    hh

     

    ———————————————-

     

     

    re big jimmy dropped a text and left a message on his phone.if i get a reply will let youz know.hopefully he will be on soon

     

     

    hh

  12. Bigbhoy,

     

     

    Hibs were pretty open against us which is why we enjoyed the game.

     

     

    Sarejevo will deploy the low block and hit us on the break. They’ll give up lots of possession for a hope of break, a mistake or a dead ball situation into our box.

     

     

    Strap in fella.

     

     

    HH

  13. Difficult game this afternoon.

     

     

    I’m relatively more confident with the likes of Duffy and Turnbull on board.

     

     

    No silly early conceded goals. A wee bit of magic from one of our silkier stars.

     

     

    I’ll go a well deserved 2-1

  14. MAJESTIC HARTSON at 12:17.

     

    Lucky you. If the game is on anywhere it will be on in Duffy’s Bar (Irish owned) in Kazimierz district. Reduced capacity at the moment but certainly better than the other “Irish “ pub in The Old Town.

     

    Missing Kraków dreadfully.

  15. Christopher Jullien is by far our best central defender, Lets hope he plays.

     

     

    Shane will appreciate a quality colleague at this settling in stage.

     

     

    Get Chris in if fit

  16. NOTTHEBUS on 1ST OCTOBER 2020 12:57 PM

     

    Christopher Jullien is by far our best central defender, Lets hope he plays.

     

    Shane will appreciate a quality colleague at this settling in stage.

     

    Get Chris in if fit

     

     

     

     

    I’m a big fan of Chris. Came in for lots of undue criticism due to a crap pitch and a desire to match the bruisers in our league. Neil has a challenge to accomodate both he and Duffy as they are both central defenders in a 3. I think our money would have been better spent on a left footed CH to avoid big Kris looking so uncomfortable.

     

     

    HH

  17. MAJESTIC HARTSON on 1ST OCTOBER 2020 12:17 PM

     

     

    Lived in Krakow for 3 years – loved the place and area. Great memories and nightlife. Wish I could have stayed another year. My kids played local football there too: the kids are tough as nails – no shin guards for matches. You could hear the football boots crack into the shins and no one would complain.

  18. Good man Scaniel. No pubs were showing on CelticBars so was going to rely on a stream – or check to see if Eurosport were showing as mentioned on here.

     

     

    I’m staying in Kazimierz so that is perfect. I may go in a few hours early – just to check it’s on of course…

  19. Call_of_Juarez on

    Lets all do

     

     

    Not sure if DT is a Coltness boy. I believe one of his framed Mwell shirts is on display at the school. Dont think they will be clamouring for one of our shirts:-)

     

     

    Hope he plays tonight. His display on Sun was one of the most accomplished I have seen from a newcomer for a considerable time.

  20. onenightinlisbon on

    I suggested young Turnbull be given a start tonight and was informed his lack of European experience would count against him. All the European experience in the team counted for nothing against Cluj or Ferencvaros….If you’re good enough and all that…….

  21. The hand of God on

    Would like to see a 3-5-2 formation tonight with Eddy and Leigh up top let’s just go for it..the game is being played in a better stadium and hopefully better playing surface than last years match where it was also affected by torrential rain.

  22. You know this really, really rubbish league we are in? Well, the odds for the opposition against our two representatives tonight are 9/1 for our opponents and 13/5 for Sevco`s.

  23. The hand of God on

    Majestic Hartson….so are you saying that Poland is better than Springburn for beautiful ladies ???

  24. MAJESTIC HARTSON on 1ST OCTOBER 2020 1:22 PM

     

     

    If the match is on tv – Eurosport – try the Sheraton Hotel bar. They also have a signed Celtic top hanging on the wall there.

  25. The hand of God on

    Majestic Hartson…have any of the young ladies in Poland handed you a card asking if you want to go for a drink yet ?

  26. The hand of God on

    Was in Poland in 2017…most enjoyable.Missing out on a Seville trip in November have swapped the flight to the old favourite Berlin who knows if we will be able to go figure Germany is as safe a bet as any they even have fans at football matches there.Obviously a lot worse happening in the world at the moment but each individual tends to miss doing things that are important to them.Heres hoping for a nice comfortable win this evening.

  27. This article is fast becoming Paul’s standard pre-Europa Cup cut n paste post, i.e….

     

    They’re guff but – in a one-off situation – could turn us over.

     

    Despite the many poster pointing out we’re woefully mismanaged, misrepresented and mis-directed (despite 9IAR, last years Europa Cup run etc), we should be able to go to B&H and easily a team from there. Should.

     

    Neil will likely revert to a mix of his tired and trusted formation with DT getting a run if we’re comfy enough.

     

    I’d stick w in-form Nir as surely we’ll do 3 at back if they opt for 2x lines of 4/5 and a rogue striker.

     

    If we repeat our Hibs energy and confidence: 1-3 result.

     

    HH

     

     

    PS As the tension builds, don’t feed the trolls.

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