Lack of merit in opponents in Europe is no reassurance


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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    Ha! I did not know that (well I was aware that Michael Winner’s films were terrible but not Loesser). Although just to show that you can’t always judge people Michael Winner was on a tacky late night chat show once where they’d reeled out a lesbien to make fun of her (this was years ago, obviously) and to my surprise Michael Winner gave the host a total dressing down.

  2. Timaloy29,



    Pity that but looked pretty unrealistic.



    Can someone get the same answer about Barry Douglas?



    That one frightens me to death.

  3. Pep Guardiola’s spending on defenders: £345,000,000



    Joao Cancelo – £58.5m



    Aymeric Laporte – £58.5m



    Benjamin Mendy – £52m



    John Stones – £50m



    Kyle Walker – £47m



    Nathan Ake – £41m



    Danilo – £27m



    Angelino – £11m

  4. BSR…



    You could argue that you should add



    Claudio Bravo – £17m



    Ederson – £35m



    Bringing the total close to £400,000,000…..

  5. The difference between Celtic and Ajax…how much would Ajax have got for selling Moussa £40..50..60 milion?

  6. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Money mentioned above for those defenders – absolute bonkers!!

  7. juanhill bhoy



    Just hope ye know the difference between yer apostates and yer apostraphes….


    If no ye soon will. Oh aye


    Welcome to the back o the bus



    “Money mentioned above for those defenders – absolute bonkers!!”



    That’s nothing, we gave Dundee £1.5 mil for Jack Hendry, there you go, beat that Pep! por cierto







    But remember the rules.



    Criticism of the manager, players, performances, signing policy, the board, the lavvies in the south stand and the pies are forbidden and you’ll be fine!




  10. We should’ve beaten Ferencvaros but even they are a step above Sarajevo. I appreciate we no longer take anyone lightly in Europe anymore but this would be a real shocker to lose.



    Hoping the Hibs performance was a spring-board and that after October the 5th, speculation can stop and players can focus again.



    If anyone’s interested, Ferencvaros have been drawn with Juventus, Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv,

  11. Philbhoy



    Cheers for that. Thank ghod you never mentioned anatomy, otherwise they other things will be a dawdle. 😀😀😀

  12. GEEBEE1978



    If we had qualified and were in that section the only teams likely to give us a doing are Barcelona, Juventus and Dynamo Kyiv.

  13. Quite ironic that Bolingoli may well see CL group stage football with Basaksehir.



    Against PSG, Man U and RB leipzig – no less.



    He’ll probably be a star in those games and end up worth £50 million.



    Or maybe not.

  14. They should get Jim Bowen to do an alternative Champions League draw


    “And here’s the Pot you couda been in”

  15. MAJESTIC HARTSON….if you’re lurking…..


    Poland added to the quarantine list after 4a.m. this Saturday.


    Hope all’s ok with you- Give my love to Kraków

  16. Today’s starting line up v Sarajevo ……



    Barkas; Bitton, Duffy, Ajer, Taylor, Brown, McGregor, Frimpong, Christie, Elyounoussi, Edouard



    Subs: Bain, Jullien, ElHamed, Turnbull, Ntcham, Griffiths, Klimala

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