Malmo vulnerabilities and likely game-plan


Since winning at top of the table Gothenburg on 12 April, Malmo have played 9 away games. They beat Lithuanians, Zalgiris, their first Champions League opponents and won at 8th placed Gelfe, but they could only manage draws away to 13th Falkenberg, 15th, Orebro and 16th (bottom) Atvidaberg.

They lost away to 8th placed Gelfe, 11th placed Kalmar, and Salzburg in the previous Champions League qualifying round. They think they can perform miracles at home, but confidence and form on the road is at rock bottom. One away win in over four months of domestic football is nothing short of a crisis for the defending champions – and they play through the summer in Sweden.

Not only that, but they are without two suspended players on Wednesday. Midfielder, Enoch Kofi was ordered off against Salzburg but Malmo’s biggest worry is the suspension to talismanic striker, Markus Rosenberg.

Rosenberg, 32, re-joined Malmo last year after a career which took him to Ajax, Werder Bremen, Racing Santander and West Brom. He’s scored in each of his last three outings, including one against Salzburg and one against Gothenburg.  It’s no understatement to say there is real anxiety at his absence.  Rosenberg’s form has masked a fragility which only a month ago brought innuendo from the coach, Age Hareide, and chairman, Hakan Jeppsson.  The latter claiming the total value of the team was less than its constituent parts, with Hareide making oblique comments about where his players’ thoughts lie.

The more I learn about them, Malmo sound like they could crack under some sustained Celtic Park pressure.

They know lots about Celtic and, with form and suspensions, they will come to mix it physically and plan to break with pace in the hope of snatching a goal. Such is the difference in their home and away form (the have won their last four home games, scoring 10 and conceding only once), a two goal defeat tomorrow night would be viewed with encouragement in Sweden.

Malmo are aware of Celtic’s threat in the air, specifically from set-pieces.  They will deploy three central defenders in a back five, in an attempt to subvert the way Qarabag and Inverness were overcome at Celtic Park recently.  One of the central defenders is certain to be Kari Arnason, 32, who left Aberdeen after a single season three years ago, on a free to then-League Two Rotherham.

This, together with a desire to break with pace, will be the essence of their game plan.  They expect Nadir Ciftci to lead the line.  If he does, the biggest part of his evening may be to occupy a clutch of defenders, creating space for others to exploit.

Kalmar have won only twice since beating Malmo in May.  Jo Inge Berget opened the scoring for Malmo in the 11th minute, but the champions collapsed late on, under pressure from Kalmar and their 7,800 fans.

We’ve faced Swedish champions twice in the last four years.  Kris Commons scored the first goal in each of the ties.  The script is written, Celtic.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about Hareide’s belief that the threat from Celtic comes mostly from the stands, not from the players……..

You’ll have noticed it’s back to school week.  There will be a collection of old/used backpacks and school bags for Mary’s Meals to take to Malawi, outside Celtic Park, before the St Johnstone game on 29 August.  If you have any lying around, hold onto them and bring them to the game, I’ll remind you closer to the time.

We have another bumblebee top to give away, courtesy of Magners.  Competition will start and end tomorrow, so look out for it!

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  1. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Well tonight really is a huge game for the hoops in my opinion to continue our progress under Ronny we qualify for the CL group stages.That would give us a large financial boost and keep our name up amongst the European elite it will also allow us to sign a couple of quality players .Failure would mean no further additions this window and also hasten the departure of VVD .H.H.

  2. Some predictIons :



    Celtic 3. – 1 Malmo


    followed by next week


    Malmo 2 – 2 Celtic



    Entry to Champions League coupled with Sale of 11Million VVD, will trigger some impressive transfer moves.


    3.75 million for Croat centre half.


    Mystery (top rated centre forward)


    A left back


    And the young winger from Chelsea.

  3. Morning all on the day of another CL night at CP.



    Or if you are a hun…






    I’m sure all Italia-based Tims will be aware that the match is live on the Premium Calcio 2 channel – DTV channel 383.







  4. My friends in Celtic,



    A small sidenote on hopefully a momentous day for the hoops.



    Respect to Athletic Bilbao supporters for their magnificent turnout to celebrate winning the Spanish Super Cup.


    An abundance of replica kits donned by all ages, sizes and genders.




  5. playfusbal4dguilders on




    Just to say that traffic of late around Raith interchange has been total bedlam and it really impacts on the towns around. With tonights game traffic it will just add on to the end of the normal rush hour.


    Anyone travelling from the South or through Bothwell Uddingston Viewpark leave early and leave plenty of time for your journey.



    HH play

  6. Ah, working again! Wouldn’t let me log in last time I tried on Sunday, but thought WC was getting enough grief about the site, so decided not to try to contact him, and just be patient.



    I’ve been of the any 0 score for Malmo not a disaster, and even just the 1 for us would be a good result. But, reading what Paul says, maybe in this case it’s there for the taking tonight, given their away form, and their confidence lacking due to the suspended players they have tonight.



    Could be like the Red Star situation, when Big Jock told Jinky he wouldn’t have to face flying over for the second leg if he helped the team to a big enough first leg lead. Wee Mhan of course destroyed them, 5-1, terror avoided. Or did Stein make him go anyway??



    Still, that was a special team, so, let’s not be greedy.



    An early Come On The Mighty Hoops, and surely we’ll be wearing them??

  7. By the way, I was unable to post my thoughts on the ICT game due to the log-in problem.



    Ye missed nuthin’!!

  8. coolmore mafia on

    Big game tonight in the biggest of cup competitions. The world will be watching. Ayr v The Rangers in the Petrofac Cup – gets the pulse racing so it does

  9. 10:23am. Insert “school of thought” after result.






    Or just like seeing my moniker under the black banner??

  10. Morning all,



    Impossible to work today, can’t think about anything other than the game. A long shot, but does anyone know where the Helsinki CSC meets? found a couple of things on celticbars but seems to be quite old information. Anyone who came here for the friendly a couple of years back maybe?



    Got a good feeling about tonight, reading what Ronny has had to say is always a calming influence….

  11. Big European game for Celtic on a Wednesday night.



    What’s not to love?



    We are a better side than Malmo. It’s a case of going out there and proving it. The team picks itself apart from LB, CF and one of the advanced midfield positions. McKay Steven and Armstrong are still cutting their teeth at this level and I would play only one of them from the start. I’d go with the much maligned Izzy at Left Back and use Chaz in the away leg.






    Lustig, Boyata and Virgil, Charlie or Izzy



    Brown, Bitton



    Armstrong, Johannsen, Forest,



    Cifcti for the first 70 minutes and Griff for the last 20……… (or maybe even two up top for the last 20 depending on how things are going)

  12. traditionalist88 on

    Need to show the same urgency we ended the Quarabag home tie with early tonight.



    Starting too slow in games and are too slow to change things when its not working. I think Ronny has improved in this respect and that is why we beat Quarabag at home following a change of tactics/personnel compared to last season at home to Maribor, when it clearly wasn’t working and changes were limited.



    If its not working tonight, mix it up, get Commons playing as close to Ciftci as possible and get Forrest on to get behind them.



    I’d be encouraging Armstrong to come inside and shoot as often as possible too.




  13. Macjay. Summi. I stopped setanta before it was brian sports I still had setanta I on my iPad



    It still works so I have it for free :)))

  14. Any score tonight when added to the one next week means we qualify will do me thanks.





  15. Mighty tim,



    Thanks for coming back to me regarding the celticnewsnow app, I only found your reply scrolling back the other day. If there were any other responders that I may have missed, thanks to you also.



    Árd Macha

  16. Geordie



    So 0-3 tonight, followed by a miraculous 0-4 over there, folllowed by a book, a DVD, funds for the Blog. . . .brilliant, Geordie Bhoy!!

  17. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Just to say all of us here on Tracy Island will be tuned to the game live tonight courtesy of the live feed from Thundernird 5, and cheering on the Bhoys to a famous victory.



    For the avoidance of doubt Mr Pasty has no knowledge of our Mole, which is safely tucked up in its Pod.



    FAB Virgil :-))




  18. remember Islam Feruz? Spent last year on loan at OFI Crete, and Blackpool.










  19. Beatbhoy,



    Sounds like a plan neebs :)



    But you get my drift….a good performance tonight and job finished next week and I’ll be a happy bhoy.



    Our away record in qualifiers is pretty decent and finishing the tie tonight would be great but unrealistic Imo




  20. Caution tonight, my erse.



    They have Berget as a regular starter. They’re less of a challenge than Carrierbag.



    Parkhead howling at them, they’ll crack early.



    I fancy us for 4-0, maybe 4-1 if a bit slack mentally.



    No optimistic Swedes are keeping Broony from the CL group stages; he can smell the glory and I can hear his cage rattling from here. Let loose the dogs of war!




  21. Geordie



    I get your drift indeed, mhate, and will share that happiness if the joab’s a good yin next week.



    Hail Hail!

  22. .



    SYDNEYTIM on 19TH AUGUST 2015 10:41 AM


    Macjay. Summi. I stopped setanta before it was brian sports I still had setanta I on my iPad







    It still works so I have it for free :)))









    Nae Wonder Celtic Cannae afford a Striker way Rouges like You..;-)



    Summa of SydneyScoundrelsCSC

  23. Good morning CQN



    Some terrible news




    St Patrick’s Church in Old Kilpatrick was gutted by fire


    On Monday at 5.30pm Police investigating



    Hail Hail




  24. Was browsing the SMSM the other day (I know, I know….) and I saw a picture of Stuart Armstrong celebrating one of his goals on saturday with Jo Hansen.



    It was odd. The picture was taken from the SW corner (The Celtic end near the main stand in Old Money) and behind him was the section where the GB are to be found.



    What was odd you ask? The entire section where the GB were on Saturday was empty. It looked like there was no one in the upper tier and the rest of the ground you could see was sparsely populated too.



    I was at the game. The GB section was full. Most of the areas around them were heavily populated. The upper tiers had a decent number in them and my guess was about 45K in physical attendance at the game.



    Have the SMSM taken to photo shopping in order to make it look as if no one is turning up at Celtic Park?



    Conversely might they be doing the same at another ground, for the opposite reason?



    Parnoid head on me. But I’m telling you – that picture was photoshopped.



    I’m off to look it out and post a link……

  25. KevJ for you Patricia and Dominic i will say a wee prayer of support.hope all works out well for you all.




    BadaBing, welcome back :-) congrtatulations on your credit pass,we learn we improve




  26. Celtic…Celtic




    Come on you bhoys in green


    Come on you bhoys in green


    Glasgow’s green and white


    Glasgow’s green and white





    Turn the music right up I can’t hear it up the hill


    Hope to see you later



    Hail Hail




  27. Captain Beefheart on

    Potentially playing a non scoring, unfit and un confident striker against the Swedish stiffs bewilders me. Let’s hope Ronny gets it right or it is going to be one hell of a mundane season.



    May Cifci prove his doubters wrong.

  28. just checked the link – you have to go in to ‘View Gallery’ once you get there. It’s the last picture I think.



    This is all too complicated now…….



    Ever wish you hadn’t started something?



    I’m away to create work for myself….

  29. Beefy – we’ve got guaranteed European football until christmas one way or the other. Mundane season? It’s hardly begun and it’s been a rollercoaster already.



    Personally I’m loving it.

  30. RobertTressell



    Saw the very same picture at the weekend and thought it was weird that the GB section looked half empty.








    Defo faked,one way or another. All the other pics from the game,bar a Caley goal,show a packed crowd. And a lot of players.



    The one in question has only two players. And about the same number of fans!

  32. traditionalist88 on

    Captain Beefheart on 19th August 2015 11:23 am Potentially playing a non scoring, unfit and un confident striker against the Swedish stiffs bewilders me. Let’s hope Ronny gets it right or it is going to be one hell of a mundane season.





    We have European football until just before Christmas guaranteed….calm your jets.



    Clearly we all want the CL but Europa league not to be sniffed at and some good trips. Not our first choice obviously but far from a mundane season ahead whatever happens.




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