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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  1. That’s the Hibs line-up with Eddie in for Ajeti?



    Should be enough to beat this mob but a night for creativity doesn’t need a Brown in front of the defence and the club should really have addressed the left side but hey ho here we go.




  2. Big Wavy


    I thought your `Juahhill to the Arsenal` was a cracker :-))




    Re Team for tonight. I am pleased to see Nir Bitton playing. I really rate him.

  3. Cheers Hot Smoked,



    Agree on big Nir at this European level but not any higher (too slow for a defender with a high line)…



    Now just need to source a sausage worth its name…




  4. This will be a totally different game to Hibs.


    Hibs had a go and the open play suited us, these guys are likely to sit in Accie style except they will be much more potent on the break.


    If we get an early goal we could see a game if we don’t, like Riga game this could be a dour frustrating worrying watch.

  5. GENE on 1ST OCTOBER 2020 5:45 PM




    I couldn’t remember who it was – hope he gets back




    Think I’d rather stay in Kraków 😀🍺🍷🥨


    This will be only the second time in the last 20 years we’ve not been able to return to Kraków- just when I nearly convinced Mrs S that we might make the Xmas Market. 😟


    Narrow win for the Bhoys will suffice tonight 🤞

  6. Looks like a 3-5-2.


    Which always leaves us open to quick counter attacks.


    Not too many of them last week in Riga, it has to be said.


    Again, confident we’ll score, ergo the obvious, defend well when we need to, go through.


    In the hat.

  7. If we play a good game, we should win tonight without too much trouble.


    If we play a poor game, it’ll be hard viewing a la Riga.



    C’mon the hoops!



  8. Bamboo


    If you are around. Just had news today that four guys from my local Golf Club have tested positive for Covid-19.


    As far as I know, none of them are billionaires.


    ( Coincidentally, three of them are good Tims and the other one`s sons are !).

  9. Gene/Scaniel,



    I managed to talk Sturgeon into keeping the travel corridor opened until I get back tomorrow night.



    A Celtic win and between 5 & 10 pints should be a nice farewell to the city. 👍🏼



    And Scaniel – Duffy’s are showing the game. That’s a pint I owe you.

  10. That’s our strongest 18 fit players and pretty hard to argue with the starting 11, particularly with Bitton’s recent performances. Would be nice for a change if we get a goal in the first 30 and another around the half time mark and then just reeeeeelax…

  11. Izzay Quarantine from Poland applicable in UK (Engerland) only, or also for Scotland? Asking for a friend…😉😉

  12. Random, were Fenerbache a pot 3 team in the draw ?


    If not we wouldnt have got the same draw.


    Even if we did, Barca and Juve again is becoming like the old league cup sections, same teams often.



    Anywas come on you bhoys in >……. ?

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