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. I said before Qarabag at Parkhead that I’d be delighted with 1-0 and I’m the same with Malmö.



    Get a lead without conceding and go and defend it in the second leg in the hope of nicking one away from home.

  2. 50 shades of green on




    Gary Hooper has now been spotted in East Kilbride Centre, Clydebank Centre, The Forge Retail Park, Silverburn, and Braehead, buying new boots.





    Good luck getting them in EK TC, shocking for fitba boots.





    Whilst am on hope Griff starts on wed night,



    One more sleep and a wee afternoon nap the morra then its Celtic park bound.

  3. Lb,



    We have scored more goals when cifci is on the field.



    And even If what you say was true would it not point to maybe he IS tiring them out?



    I’m easy who starts up top btw :)




  4. Morning all,



    I am not as confident about tomorrows game as a lot on here are. I also do not buy into “in Ronny, I thrust” mantra of many. Hard hat on while I lob these grenades into the blog (and run like hell):



    Nadir Ciftci has not impressed me at all but I think Ronny will play him even though his form does not warrant it. John Hartson should be brought in to show this guy how to use his weight to hold up a ball and where the net is. Through his own stupidity, he will not get a run of games in the SPL til September but I think he could come good once he starst scoring with the huge amount of opportunities that are presented on a plate to him.


    Stuart Armstrong…why did we buy him? Was he part of a “two for one” deal with GMS? At left midfield he is awful. Yeah he scored 2 goals against a piss poor Killie but against a half decent defence he would not have been presented with those opportunities. SA wanders around the pitch leaving Izzy totally exposed and on Wednesday I saw him over by the right back position. I would even rather have Derk Boerrigter in that position…he, by all accounts, is very fast and would keep their defence occupied more than SA would.


    GMS…he started his Celtic career very brightly but at times has the headless chicken look about him. Still, he’s a decent goal threat in the SPL.



    The 3 above I would consider no more than SPL quality and will find it difficult to raise their games to the level we need them to be at. I understand everyone wants Scottish talent in the team but if we buy from the SPFL then thats the quality to expect from them. They may improve but it will take some work and time.



    I would play Efe ahead of Dedrick at CB, Forrest instead of GMS and Griffiths for Ciftci tomorrow. I love to see Kriss Commons on the pitch and think he causes the defenders more problems than most others but I suspect he can not last 90 minutes in a high pressing game that I think tomorrow will be.



    On to Ronny…if he gets rid of Stokes and, as has been rumoured, Izzy while keeping Scepovic at the club my faith in him will be down to zero. On the left hand side these two are without doubt the best we have and work incredibly well together.



    Anyway, off out as they say in these parts.



    Hail Hail

  5. I had a wee look at the stats for Malmo’s 3-0 win against Red Bull.



    It looks like Red Bull dominated the game completely with Malmö scoring with 3 of their 4 attempts on goal.


    With 25 attempts on goal, 10 corners and 10 shots blocked it looks as if Red Bull did everything but score the vital away goal.


    Shirley Malmö can’t lead such a charmed life tomorrow especially with their captain sitting among the Celtic fans.


    I’ll be disappointed if we only score 3.

  6. ‘GG



    Not really…well maybe with Derk but the rest is my honest opinion.



    Hail Hail

  7. LEFTCLICKTIC on 18TH AUGUST 2015 4:51 PM


    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.







  8. “Yer having a laugh, trying to wind us all up aren’t you? ”




    From the man who says he’ll be disappointed if we only score 3!!!!








  9. Dublinbhoy


    Not just Derk, but the choice of Efe at CB.


    I would rather see Lustig move to CB than Efe.


    But the suggestion that there is a place anywhere at Celtic Park for Derk must rank as the most wayward suggestion we’ve seen on here for some time.


    It’s so far off the mark I’m smiling. See. :-))

  10. ‘GG



    Yeah with Derk I was at the wind up but he’s not as wayward as having Scepovic still being on the payroll :)


    But mentioning Boerrigter was to highlight how bad I think SA has been in the left midfield ahead of Stokes. If you watch CTV you will find that most players mention Derk as being the fastest player we have.



    Its all about opinions though :)



    Hail Hail

  11. Geordie Munro


    Of course I’ll be disappointed if we only score 3.


    Like Oliver, I always want more from Celtic.


    4-0 or better would have us all brimming with confidence for the return and would send a chilling message throughout Europe.


    A message that says to everyone that you come into our back yard at your peril.

  12. THE67BRIGADE on 18TH AUGUST 2015 4:21 PM


    Not being ignorant mate and thank you for the wishes.




    Thank you my friend for the compliment and best wishes.


    Out in The Grange with my Whife and Bhoy for Dinner.


    Until we meet again…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  13. Any win to nil is vital.


    2-0 excellent.


    3-0 uber brill.



    The Cat


    Lustig Boyatta VVD Izzie



    Bitton Broonie



    Joe Hanson Armstrong GMS



    Le Griff



    HH jamesgang

  14. Happy birthday Lennybhoy….should have known that ye were lookin aulder


    when I saw you yesterday ,you were dressed very smartly …how did the court


    case go???



  15. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Just been informed tickets haven’t arrived for tomorrow yet


    Typical, they wait till ticket office closed before telling you



    Blinking kids

  16. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    I’ve heard from a friend (a Rangers fan) that they are facing a massive bill for work on Ibrox, as almost no maintenance has been carried out over the previous five or so years. This is certainly a rumour that’s been circulating for some time, and has been mentioned on here before.



    He believes the cost could be over £4,000,000 required urgently just to keep Ibrox open, and possibly as much as a further £8,000,000 to bring it fully up to standard..!



    He claims that the authorities have given the club deadlines for some of the more urgent safety related work to be completed, but that to date King doesn’t seem to have moved to meet these ultimatums. He also reckons this is one of the reasons they have not yet carried out their new share issue, as they cannot give potential investors the assurances they would require over the value of the ground, and future liabilities for the remedial work.



    Time will tell if he’s right, and if so how accurate his figures are, but I believe that what he’s telling me is what he genuinely believes – and this has him really worried.





    A Tim I know put me on to this,it’s from a Hertz site.might be a loud of,but a fun read.



    Derk may indeed be the quickest. The question is, at what. To hit the treatment table? To “avoid” tackles? To play fitba?


    I think he checks all those boxes and he is not fit to lace SA’s boots. Apart from that he is a fine fella and a really well paid fella.

  18. i was just searching there for Celtic Park – future developments.



    When I came across this wee gem …………..



    oh how we laughed.







    Join Date: May 2006


    Posts: 21


    Likes (Received): 0





    Originally Posted by gorgu


    Pretty pathetic trying to provoke a response to be honest!



    Celtic Park will join Ibrox as a five star stadium when it is finally completed!



    Not too sure about the three tier plans for Ibrox, I think it is more likely two or three more thousand will be added to ibrox by digging down as opposed to adding tiers. I think for Rangers 55 – 60K is sufficient!


    Celtic Park will have to be rebuilt before they change the main stand. It was built so cheaply that the materials have a 20 year lifespan. That means in about 15 years the whole stadium will have to be rebuilt!!



    They will not change the main stand until then as they know this!! Celtic Park has no stars and will not have any for at least 15 years!!




    There are no concrete plans to add 3rd tiers to the 3 Ibrox stands. It would be cheaper to knock them down and start again. There is no 2/3 phase plan. The work in the summer (increase to 51500) is the only definite planned work.




    Barcelona added 3rd tiers AND dug down.




    Celtic are about £30 million in debt, Rangers almost now have no debt due to the JJB deal and Murray putting in £50 million. Rangers debt is now about £8 million.

  19. and just cos its still funny –






    Plans for Ibrox development a shadow of former glory


    00:00, 13 JANUARY 2012




    AMBITIOUS plans to redevelop Rangers’ Ibrox stadium and the area around it have been left in tatters.















    AMBITIOUS plans to redevelop Rangers’ Ibrox stadium and the area around it have been left in tatters.



    In 2004, the club unveiled a £350million super-casino and leisure complex project.



    Former owner David Murray’s plans – in cooperation with Las Vegas Sands Inc – included a 140-room hotel, almost 300 apartments, a conference venue, shops, a bar and restaurant, a £5million pitch on the roof of the stadium and fitness facilities for the community.



    It was hoped 2000 jobs would be created and that the project would be completed for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.



    But over the years, the club’s financial woes, the recession and never-ending wrangles with planners and developers have killed off the dream.



    A modest scheme to build a supermarket in the stadium’s carpark has even failed to get off the ground. As well as the economic downturn, Rangers are disputing a tax bill and penalties of £49million with HM Revenue and Customs.



    And last week, shares in the club were suspended from trading on the Plus stock exchange after they failed to file accounts on schedule.



    But Rangers yesterday insisted they were working on a new plan for the area.



    A spokesman for owner Craig Whyte said: “We can confirm the club is exploring options with the various relevant land owners in the area and are in contact with relevant parties.”



    Any project would require Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) to sell land and give planning permission.



    But a council spokesman said: “We are keen to talk to any organisation or business interested in regenerating any part of the city.



    “However, we have had no recent dialogue with Rangers about redeveloping the area.



    A GHA spokesman added: “We are not involved in discussions with the football club.”

  20. SAINT STIVS on 18TH AUGUST 2015 5:57 PM


    and just cos its still funny –



    -Bad Bhoy :-))




  21. Geordie Munro



    Cheers for that earlier but I believe we are more potent with Griffiths and need to score IMHO.




  22. Gerrybhoy



    Derk may be all that but why is he still at CP, why is he not just cut loose (and Scepovic)? No rumours of that happening only that Stokes and possibly Izzy will be leaving. If those two leave while keeping Derk and Scepovic, then I will think Ronny is off his head.



    Either way, I only mentioned Derk to illustrate how poor SA is on the left midfield. SA may be better elsewhere but whose position would he take? For me, SA in these two qualifiers should be on the bench.



    Hail Hail

  23. I would also like to congratulate Bada Bing having been there myself. The same hard work and commitment is required tomorrow from the Bhoys. Concentration, courage, confidence and controll. A positive result will inevitably follow.



    Derk has not been “cut loose” because there are no takers. I suggest we should just terminate his contract. Worse than useless but then that is the fault of the scouts, who did not adequately investigate his “fitness” record.




  25. West End of East End on

    I don’t know if it’s just Celtic fans who have this peculiar trait that the players currently holding down a position should be dropped to allow players who can’t get near a starting position their place.



    Same with the bring back Sammi, Tony Watt etc, Sammi was finished and was becoming the target for the boo bhoys, Tony Watt had his chance and blew it. Izzy & Efe are the new target for the boo bhoys, jeez, I remember when it was Tom Boyd !

  26. Thanks again Bhoys




    HAMILTONTIM on 18TH AUGUST 2015 5:02 PMMany 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!!!-



    You need to be certified to drink wi those 2 in The Vogue….:)HH

  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?




    Who helped ye ?ya big lump of fire resistant wid :O) hh

  28. Paul67



    A terrific informative piece.


    Does sound like our tea will be out if we don’t take a commanding lead to Sweden.







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