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. We’ve come through 4 CL ties undefeated with 3 clean sheets. The team picks itself tomorrow night, the only questionable position is who plays left back.


    Forrest, Griffiths are better options later in the game than from the start, as is Commons (although I was sure he missed out due to injury).

  2. Maybe Pat could do a CQN Q&A? Nah! Of course he is an authority on most things including politics and music.



    Big crowd to play its part tomorrow.

  3. “We’ve come through 4 CL ties undefeated with 3 clean sheets. The team picks itself tomorrow night, the only questionable position is who plays left back”






    In that case the lb position should be filled by the guy who played lb in all 3 clean sheets.




  4. I like the idea of Stewy playing off the front man, whether it be ciftci or Lee. It gives us additional attacking options. Malmo will play the counter game.


    So do we start Ciftci with Stewy bring on Lee second half and then sub Stewy with commons on 70 min and then let Lee run at them and Kris try and play possession and draw the fouls and slow things down, assuming we are winning at that point






  5. Geordie Munro on 18th August 2015 4:00 pm



    And it probably will be. I just don’t think the manager rates Izzy and may choose Mulgrew. In the only game he had to choose he went with Mulgrew.

  6. G67- I think he might start Forrest tomorrow night, he had his best hour in a Celtic jersey at Killie last week, and not a lot coming off for GMS lately.

  7. Gary,



    And look where that got us ;)



    I’d go with izzy but Charlie usually has a better delivery /outball




  8. Lennybhoy



    Excuse my ignorance. Happy birthday. HH



    Bada bing



    A great qualification to have. I passed mine in 1998. Fantastic feeling. Congratulations and well done. HH

  9. Delaneys Dunky on




    Well done! You were obviously studying hard during your absence from here. :)

  10. I know James Forrest ran about and looked good and took a couple of sore one’s against kilmarnock.



    But did he influence the game/result?



    Am only askin’!

  11. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Now we know you came out of your exile just to gloat



    Well done big man.



    I’m glad we have choices, keeps them fit and champing at the bit

  12. skyisalandfill on

    Does our assistant head scout David Moss not know that Rangers are deid and that the tribute act is on life support.



    Very poor for a senior employee to express this nonsense.



    Well done Bada Bing.



    NeBOSH is very tough.




  13. remenber all the bleating last year about our number of loanees? Dont see a similar outcry this year from the hacks when the breadman does the same

  14. Anyone else notice how the SMSM have taken the “liability” that is the “glib & shameless liar” out of the limelight recently and put all their eggs in the “warbmeisters” basket.

  15. BSR,


    for the last 2 months we have averaged 30 degs on a daily basis, with highs of 38 ( and that in Germany!). Last 3 days back down to 21 or so but will be up to 30 by the weekend. Back garden looks like the Gobi desert. My daughter in Edinburgh doesn’t like to hear this. She says most days are bad hair days :))



    Hoping all will go well tomorrow night. A 3-0 would be fine.







  16. Bada



    Well done mate.



    As for Wednesday stick with the most consistent Core of the team.


    Spine and defence should remain unchanged from majority of games.



    Killie was a warning. We made far too many changes and paid the price.



    Gordon net minding


    Izzy, Lustig VVD and Boyata at the back.


    Brown and Bitton in midfield


    Johanssen & Armstrong


    Forrest (possibly Commons if fit)


    Griffiths up front



    Cifti who is clearly lacking match fitness is not tiring anyone out by starting games and is not scoring. Let Leigh do the ground work then bring the big man on when they are tired.



    Not having a dig at Ciftci but in the European games when he has been on the pitch how many goals have been scored? I think the majority have come for us when he is withdrawn from the field.


    He will be useful away though when we are defending our lead.



    3-1 to the Hoops.




  17. Many happy returns to a fine man and Celt, Lennybhoy!



    Well done Bada Bing does that mean you’re certified to take VP and G64 out on the town now!!!

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