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Lowdown on Celtic’s potential Champions League opponents

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Uefa were kind to Celtic with the Champions League first qualification round groupings.  None of the five teams we could be drawn against this afternoon are in the teams we definitely did not want to draw.

Valletta lost the corresponding first round game last season to Albanian champions, Kukesi, before dropping to the Europa League and losing to Zrinjski Mostar.

FK Sarajevo beat Armenians Banants Yerevan in last year’s Europa before a bizarre second round tie against Atalanta.  The first leg in Italy saw the Bosnians come from two goals down to draw the game and threaten a shock, but Atalanta made the most of the additional week’s fitness to win the second leg 0-8.  There should be no real threat from Sarajevo but there’s a lesson here on what happens when a team is not fit enough for competitive football.

Montenegrins Sutjeska Niksic lost their Champions league first round Astana, who Celtic beat in an unusual 2017 tie, before losing to Armenians Alashkert in the Europa, who Celtic beat 3-0 home and away last season.

Some of you will remember Partizani Tirana from our 1979 European Cup tie.  Celtic were 1-0 down from the away leg, then Partizani opened the scoring at Celtic Park, but this game is fondly remembered for a socks-down Davie Provan grabbing hold of the occasion.  Celtic scored four before the break and eased into the quarter-finals, where Real Madrid awaited.

This will be Georgians Saburtalo Tbilisi’s first season in European competition.  They are, by any measure, a tiny football club, but bankrolled to a position of domestic prominence.  Formed 14 years ago, they won the league last season, their first major trophy.

This round could have seen us drawn against Polish champions Piast Gliwice, who shot to prominence and won the league for the first time last season, earning a status which has yet to benefit their Uefa coefficient.

We can be confident of getting through this round – and grateful for the competitive games, before the tougher challenges that lie ahead in the second qualification round, which is also drawn today.

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34 Comments

  1. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    I think we get a pretty decent return from our Academy and Youth Programmes. Even when we have a fully fit squad to choose from Tierney, McGregor and Forrest are amongst the first names on the team sheet. Kris Ajer, although more developed when he joined our youth programme, is also a product of that system. How many players are we expected to produce for the first team? 4 out of 11 seems not bad to me. Add in Aitchison, Johnston, Ralston and Henderson who have all played for the current Celtic team. Further down the pipe it looks like Karamoko Dembele and Armstrong Oko-Flex have a reasonable chance of having careers as full time Professional football players.

     

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  2. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Meant to finish with the rhetorical question…

     

    … what does our youth development programme have to do to be classified as successful?

     

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  3. HUNDERBIRDS ARE GONE on 18TH JUNE 2019 12:23 PM

     

     

    As always that very much depends on who you ask :)

     

     

    You could argue that for a club the size of celtic and with our model an academy is absolutely essential these days

  4. Good afternoon CQN

     

     

    Have we signed anybody yet?

     

     

    Surely we must be going through our leaked list to get some of the targets?

     

     

    D :)

  5. CELTIC40ME @ 11:41 AM,

     

     

    Yes, it doesn’t confirm anything, I didn’t raise Celtic’s or BR’s possible interest in Andreas Pereira. It’s pure speculation isn’t it?

     

     

    Now if it is the case and I don’t know if it is, and have little interest anyway, that Brendan Rodgers targetted Andreas Pereira and … “that Rodgers ‘tried to take’ the 23-year-old talent to Celtic during his time at Parkhead”… and we failed to sign him (whether a transfer, or a loan, or a loan leading to a transfer it’s all speculation right). If it did, and it’s a big if… it would confirm that Brendan Rodgers was targetting players and we were failing to sign them.

     

     

    He made his feelings very clear about this during the McGinn, Boyata saga.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  6. Go tell the Spartim on

    What constitutes a dither with regards to the time continuum ?

     

     

    its heartening to know that the SMSM know that we’re onto their games and yet they dont have the intelligence to try something else. As long as they’re hurting im happy

  7. CHAIRBHOY on 18TH JUNE 2019 12:44 PM

     

    CELTIC40ME @ 11:41 AM,

     

     

     

    Yes, it doesn’t confirm anything, I didn’t raise Celtic’s or BR’s possible interest in Andreas Pereira. It’s pure speculation isn’t it?

     

     

    I’m glad you agree. You didn’t raise it but you used it as proof that the club weren’t delivering BR’s targets. Despite, as you say, it being speculation and you having no idea about the circumstances.

  8. CELTIC40ME @ 1:07 PM,

     

     

    No, I didn’t use it as proof that the Club weren’t delivering on BR’s targets.

     

     

    We know the executive weren’t delivering on BR’s targets, that’s a matter of record.

     

     

    Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing is a point of debate. We can go back down there of you want;)

     

     

    SFtB’s made the premise it was true.

     

     

    Not stating a fact, just a premise. Ok.

     

     

    Now I was working on said premise.

     

     

    Now if the premise on the speculation is true and for arguments sake we take that to be the case (it’s a premise).

     

     

    It would be (if true) further proof and we all ready know this to be the case, that the executive failed to deliver on targets.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  9. Chairbhoy @ 12:44

     

    If I read this : … it would confirm that Brendan Rodgers was targetting players and we were failing to sign them.

     

    and was then to hazard a guess at what went before,I would guess that some fairly strong clues had been offered to arrive at a `it would confirm` possibility.

     

    What actually was offered was a hypothesis containing these expressions:

     

    ` if it is the case and I don’t know if it is;

     

    `followed by ` (whether a transfer, or a loan, or a loan leading to a transfer it’s all speculation right).`;

     

    then finishing with ,` If it did, and it’s a big if…`

     

    I would say that those `possibilities` are hardly enough to warrant a “it would confirm` conclusion.

     

     

    JJ

  10. CHAIRBHOY on 18TH JUNE 2019 1:21 PM

     

     

    We know the executive weren’t delivering on BR’s targets, that’s a matter of record.

     

     

    ___

     

     

    Matter of record?

     

     

    I’d say its anything but.

  11. Champions League Q 1

     

     

    Celtic v FK Sarajevo

     

     

    Home match 9/10 & away 16/17 July

  12. Today, FK Sarajevo is one of the most prominent members of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it has won four Bosnian championships, six Bosnian Cups and one Bosnian Supercup. Furthermore, the club was runners-up in the national championship another six times. It is ranked first in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina all-time table and is the country’s most prominent representative in European competitions. FK Sarajevo is the most popular football club in the country, together with FK Željezničar, with whom it shares a strong rivalry that manifests itself in the Sarajevo derby.

     

     

    The club plays its home matches at the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium, named after legendary club striker Asim Ferhatović. The stadium has a capacity of 34.500.[1]

     

     

    Since March 2019, FK Sarajevo is run by Vietnamese businessman Nguyễn Hoài Nam and the PVF Investment and Trading, JSC (Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents F.C.).[4][5][6]

  13. For the avoidance of doubt ( Philmac) ,the above was from Wiki and not just off the top of my head.

     

    JJ

  14. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    FK Sarajevo play in the Koševo City Stadium also known as Asim Ferhatović – Hase. The stadium has a 34,500 capacity, although Sarajevo’s average crowd is just over 3,500, probably because they play in the same strip as Hearts.

     

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  15. Can anyone please clarify what the last draw was about? The pairing of Celtic and the Sarajevo team were picked out. I think it was meaning that the loser would go into the Europa, but don’t understand why we were the only ones drawn?

  16. Looks like our tie was drawn out of the 1st rd ties so that the loser skips a round in the Europa League i.e. they go into rd 3 rather than rd 2 qualifying.

     

     

    Of course we should be going into Rd 2 of the Champions League qualifiers …

  17. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Sarajevo – Meal in a cheap restaurant is only €3.50, half litre local beer €1.53 ?

     

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