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. glendalystonsils on

    The SMSM will be hoping that Scott Allan will be hounded out of Scottish football by thugs and bigots. that is why they are actively inciting them.


    They consider that SA deserves to be ‘punished’ for what he did.



    Despite the fact that what he did was to sign for a different club than the one the SMSM wanted him to sign for.



    People from more highly developed and civilised countries would find it astonishing.



    And their legal/regulatory bodies would find it unacceptable.



    However, here, it’s fine.

  2. Good defending and a patient mental support required tomorrow? I’d start with Griffiths at home and maybe Ciftci away.



    I was radio channel hopping in the car this morning and stumbled (honest) onto the Kaye Adams show. Incredibly, they were taking my about the Scott Allan coup.



    Pat Nevin was involved in the discussion and said he’d been a Hibs supporter for ten years, although he’d supported Celtic previously. What did we do to upset the weeman??!!


    Interesting if meaningless stat in The Guardian re Chelsea’s poor start to the season.



    ‘But here’s a strange fact. Mourinho’s last six league defeats have come against managers whose surnames begin with P: Pulis, Poyet, Pardew, Pochettino, Pulis again and Pellegrini. His next two games are against Pulis and Pardew.’



    FWIW,I watched them against Swansea,in the esteemed company of Ayrshirtim. In the pub,obviously. I thought they got lucky that day. Before that,I thought they were nailed on to win the league again.

  4. ziggydoc1,


    you mean you don’t know about Rat Nevin,


    you will be up to date shortly I imagine





    ‘Pat Nevin was involved in the discussion and said he’d been a Hibs supporter for ten years, although he’d supported Celtic previously. What did we do to upset the weeman??!!’






    Obviously we didn’t pay the legend that is Pat enough respect. Or,as its otherwise known…



    Kent his Faither.

  6. Lennybhoy



    Happy Birthday!



    Hope you have a great day :)



    Could have been even better if those pesky podium chasers hadnt pinched your rightful place as the birthdaybhoy!

  7. Pat Nevin?!?!? Who mentioned Pat *&%£!% Nevin!!! There’s the ole blood pressure rocketing again!



    Wee toly.

  8. TBB



    I think all baby elephants are linda if you are saying linda with a spanish lilt

  9. Ciftci has shown nothing in either an orange jersey or the hoops to deserve a start tomorrow, Griffiths must play!



    GMS also needs benched, very inconsistent Forrest is twice the player he is.



    Only question for me is Commons of Armstrong to start the rest of the team picks itself, including Izzy at lef back.


    I’m all in favour of banning the MSM when they step out of line.



    One warning,that’s yer lot. And your publication is banned too,so they canny just rotate their squad!



    However-and I apologise for the source here,apt as it is-they WILL find a way back in.




  11. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Pretty confident that this will be the starting line up tomorrow:





    Lustig Boyata van Djik Izagurre


    Forrest Brown Bitton Joe Hansen Armstrong





    Then , if necessary, Griffiths and Commons to come on but for whom , I know not.










    Way over my head,lads. According to everyone down here-and anywhere outside of Kilwinning,tbh-I still struggle wi English!





    Asses. As in his post. But donkeys suits. As do a few other terms of endearment…

  14. traditionalist88 on

    Cifcti is a worry alright but with the right service there is a good chance he will hit the target.



    I’d play Commons off him and if we are struggling to get the big man involved Commons should be urged to play as close to Cifcti as possible, effectively two up, with support coming from midfield.



    Need to get behind them as much as possible so Forrest should get a decent shift imo. Against Qurabag too much passing from side to side in front of them was going on – no wonder Cifcti sturggled. Who knows Allan may even feature from the bench if there is a repeat tomorrow.




  15. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    That very same point has been rattling around my head for days.



    Perhaps a bit of lobbying of MSPs , particularly OBA minded ones may be an option.

  16. BMCUWP……….



    Brilliant put down M re ” Ah kent his faither”……….


    but for the faux intellectual that is Rat Nevin, i think the Gasgow/irish claimed put down of “He thinks he’s big but a wee coat fits him” was coined for him………



    Regards & Hail Hail



  17. Brentford have accepted a £9m bid from Bristol City for striker Andre Gray, BBC Sport understands.



    The 24-year-old striker, who had been a target for Hull, is currently discussing personal terms with the Bees’ Championship rivals.







  18. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    If comments, akin to those that have appeared in the MSM, were posted on line, you can be sure that the DPP would be conducting one of their investigations.



    So, go to it, all you who have strong local political leanings.



    Use their own Laws against them.

  19. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    “If comments, akin to those that have appeared in the MSM, were posted on line, you can be sure that the DPP would be conducting one of their investigations.” –



    What comments have been made?




  20. Just checked the ole official website ticket interactive stadium seats plan.



    Bottom tier allmost sold out, top tier a few thousand to go.



    With three sections upper tier lions , still not available yet.



    I hope we go pay at the gate with these tomorrow night, for the last minute hoopsters.



    so looking forward to it,



    come on you bhoys in green

  21. Hoping for group stage champions league football, we are not good enough to expect it. Don’t think we can read to much into malmo vs. Salzburg as the team they played was nothing team Celtic played in Europa league due to selling off their better players, oh and Celtic are not the same team either… Like rd a lot and the way he wants us to play, the hard bit is translating it onto pitch…



    for game tomorrow we should go with griff up top and cifti on the right, gms to drop out, Forrest all about pace and malmo will sit behind the ball, shoot on sight (15 yards) and have griff attacking loss ball



    ww shall see tomorrow




  22. Malmo will target Izzy, Broony and Forresty.



    Well that’s what I’d do.



    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. It’s official-NEBOSH Gen Cert passed with Credit – woooo oooo:))


    Embdae looking for a H&S Advisor with a Fire Safety background?

  24. !!Bada Bing!!



    Is that as good as a National 5?



    Only kidding!




  25. I listened to the interview that Pat Nevin gave the Guardian’s Barry Glendenning




    Pat couldn’t help but have a sly dig at Aiden McGeady. Sleekit wee man.

  26. I do not see evidence that Malmo are liable to crack under pressure. Their current form is very good…undefeated in their last 5 games.(2 draws and three wins). In fact, they had to fight back in the two draws, being 2-0 down and 1-0 down away from home. Further they are the top scorers in Sweden…if they have weaknesses it is in defence.


    An additional furthermore, they defeated the current leaders, Goteborg during this run. I hope they crumble but I doubt it. Tomorrows game is likely going to be tight, not a blowout.


    Objectively, Celtic have better players, more resources and should win easily, but the same applies to Salzburg.


    Paul’s assessment of their game plan is spot on. They use the long ball either over the top or out to the wings. They will be physical and will attempt to brush our players off the ball. Much depends on the referee’s tolerance of these kind of tactics.


    Let the games begin!




  27. !!BADA BING!! on 18TH AUGUST 2015 3:02 PM


    It’s official-NEBOSH Gen Cert passed with Credit – woooo oooo:))





    Embdae looking for a H&S Advisor with a Fire Safety background?







  28. !!Bada Bing!!



    Congratulations Bing! That is a terrific qualification to have.


    Hail Hail

  29. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    A big happy 94th Birthday to Lennybhoy



    And also well done BB I hope the pass percentage was higher than the kids maths




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