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!

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. ...
  11. 13

  1. I know very little about Malmo but I do know that this Celtic has everything going for them On a terrific unbeaten run and all the new signings bedded in with fitness levels just right and a very good pre-season. We have good players and they will continue on the winning streak.

  2. “Emilio Izaguirre



    A revelation in his first season in Scottish football, Izaguirre ended the 2010/11 campaign in possession of the awards for SPFA Players’ Player of the Year, SPL Player of the Year and Football Writers Player of the Year – a remarkable individual achievement.



    The Honduras internationalist represented his country at the 2010 World Cup and was snapped up by Celtic later that summer from Montagua, making an impressive debut in a 1-0 win over Motherwell.


    Assured in defence and a potent attacking threat, Izaguirre’s progress was then curtailed because of a broken ankle at the start of the 2011/12 season.


    The full-back was an impressive performer for Celtic in 2013/14 and committed his future to the Hoops at the end of that campaign, signing a new three-year deal.


    After starring for his country at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, he has continued to be a regular in the side under Ronny Deila.


    Izaguirre scored his first Celtic goal in four years in the 6-0 League Cup victory over Partick Thistle in November 2014, adding another in a 2-0 win away to Kilmarnock at the start of 2015.



    CLICK HERE to order your Celtic shirt complete with Emilio Izaguirre’s name and number”



    From Celtic FC official site today.



    I also like saying “Tegucigalpa” – the metropolis where he was born.



    Zihuatanejo CSC

  3. Yes he’s injury prone but are we sure this is the only issue as to why Derk has been left out in the cold? Granted we’ve only seen very fleeting glimpses but he’s shown good ability anytime he has played. Last season it looked like he was going to make a telling contribution until he was labeled a cheat by Neil McCann for taking a dive at St Johnstone. At the time it was surprising that RD never stuck up for him or even appealed the subsequent three game ban. Not sure what happened after that but he’s never been seen again. I think it’s easy to label him sicknote and therefore a dud, but is the only reason to why he hasn’t featured down to injuries?

  4. bsr



    Have they fixed the middle 8 in the 1888 yet?



    I’ll volunteer to change the bulb,don’t tell big Bada….ah canny go they


    H&S tubes :O)

  5. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Reading of the Boo Bhoys of the Month, regarding whichever player is the subject of the wrath of fickle fans.



    I remember who, I think, was the first recipient of this un Celtic behaviour.



    It was Tommy Callaghan.


    TC arrived at the beginning of the post Lions era, after the legendary, swashbuckling fare of which we were used.


    His introduction was a thirty five yard screamer against Thistle.


    Tommy’s style was different. He worked for the team, doing a lot of the unglamorous stuff.



    Not for him was the eye catching shapes thrown by, e.g. Harry Hood.



    However. that was not good enough for a vocal, sizeable wedge of the support; including my two match day mates.



    However. he had a major fan in the team., Kenny Dalglish, who knew that whenever he had the ball Tommy was always in support, unlike others who were inclined to hide during games.



    I met TC at Cp in the 1976-7 pre season. He had handed in a transfer request, due to the crap from the terracing.



    An aside to this. One evening, I was with my two matchday buddies in the TV room of the Rolls Royce club in EK, watching highlights of a Scottish League v English League, played that night at Hampden.



    In came Tom Forsythe, of Thems. One of my pals asked him outright whayt he thought of “Tommy Callaghan of the Celtic”?



    To my delight, he extolled the virtues of Tommy as a player, more than common courtesy would expect.



    I admired Forsythe for that and it also gave me an insight into how professional players distance themselves from the comments from fans.

  6. Cannot believe we are supposed to be considering Hooperman as a loanee. That really is a retrograde step,imo, and does not in any way show any ambition at all.


    There are so many good strikers at the right price out there. The young lad Gray at Birmingham and probably more expensive, my old mate, Leroy Sane of Schalke.


    Come on Celtic, show some glimmer of ambition or we will go the same way as Scottish football sadly.


    And get Jason Denayer back – -the guy is pure class and keep Virgil!! Surely we can make it worth his while to stay with us, surely.


    Always hoping for better




  7. Yes – Ticket printed – check


    Butterflies kicking in – check


    Heading for the BV tomorrow tea time – check


    Hoping to meet some CQNRs there – check



    Hail hail

  8. THE67BRIGADE on 18TH AUGUST 2015 7:06 PM





    Hoi, I wiz a H&S choob. :-)




    I’m taking nothing back….you petty minded bureaucrat …..that’s me being polite.


    I’ll no haud any grudges seeing yir a Tim HH :o)

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I am pleased to see the Catholic Church has today apologised to those who suffered sexual assault from the clergy over the years.However,they must go further they must highlight the culprits and if there are any clergy still involved in the Church who have been proved complicit in any form of sexual abuse they need to be highlighted and removed from the Church no longer can the Church turn there back on these wicked sinners male or female if this does not happen they will lose the little credibility they have remaining.The Catholic Church is run by men and any organisation run by men will be fallibile but hiding the truth must be as bad as the sexual abuse itself and is surely a mortal sin.The leadership in Rome must clearly understand the time has come to come clean and stop the cover ups .The lay people in the Church must also no longer look at the clergy as never to be questioned as that is exactly the type of conduct that allows abuse to take place we must be prepared to voice our concerns and there must be an open an honest relationship between the lay person and the clergy and the clergy must understand they are accountable to the body of the Church if this does not happen I am afraid the Catholic Church is very likely to find the congregations dwindling even further.

  10. HANKRAY on 18TH AUGUST 2015 6:50 PM


    I know very little about Malmo but I do know that this Celtic has everything going for them On a terrific unbeaten run and all the new signings bedded in with fitness levels just right and a very good pre-season. We have good players and they will continue on the winning streak.





    On a terrific unbeaten run??????????????????



    Aye against a load of dross and pub teams – let’s not get carried away – we have not been tested.



    We were ‘all at sea’ for a while when Starjan scored.



    We were second best for much of the Qarabag second-leg and ineffective in the first-leg.



    As for Ross Co, Killie and ICT – these are pub teams, with players drawn from the non-league in England and ‘burnt-out’ Scottish rejects, and yet in each of these matches we allowed all three into the game, in some form, or, other.



    Outwith Celtic, there are forty-one, full and part-time teams in Scotland, with let’s say twenty players on each club’s books – that’s 820 players – call it 800 for rounding sake.



    Apart from a few up and coming youngsters and the odd seasoned professional – total probably around TEN, there is not one player who would get a game in any of the English four divisions – in fact probably 750 would be lucky to get a game in the Vanarama Vanaroo.



    This is NOT the SPFL – its the SDFL = Scottish Dross Football League



    None of this is Celtic’s fault – we do our best to keep our name in the forefront of European/World football – but it IS reality, and I fear if we don’t get out, we will be in with the dross within ten years.

  11. voguepunter on 18th August 2015 5:48 pm


    Thanks for the shout out yesterday, I will never be closer to being in your Taxi…:)


    For the record, the Court case, they were found guilty. And when they turned up looking for their Car, it wasn’t there…cost them £180 to get it back…:)


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  12. Neil McCann and Pat Nevin



    What went wrong gents?



    Did you enter a parallel dimension just because Celtic wouldn’t sign you?



    Perdition Road is full of angry wee men.



    Love Unrequited CSC

  13. Dublinbhoy what alternative universe do you inhabit?Isaw Stuart Armstrong’s 2 goals against ICT but strangely missed – according to you his 2 against Kilmarnock. Methinks you’re not very good at this football thing. H H Hebcelt

  14. A big happy birthday to Lennybhoy, the secret squirrel of cqn.



    Bada Bing, great work big mhan, a lot of doors should open up for you. HH

  15. SIPSINI on 18TH AUGUST 2015 7:16 PM


    A big happy birthday to Lennybhoy, the secret squirrel of CQN.




    I’m sitting here thinking……more like Morocco Mole.

  16. Jinkyredstar.



    I’ll be in the BV around 3.10pm, Laughing at you ticking of your list of things to do, much the same as myself, only I tend always to leave something back at home Saturday it was my teeth.

  17. Ellboy



    Sadly he’s not very good even when he’s ‘fit’.



    Began quickly to ‘hide’ on the wing, regularly substituted in development games


    never fit.



    It a league apart from other failed projects sadly IMHO, hence not moved on loan.

  18. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Don’t worry I’ll call you about 11am to remind you take everything with you

  19. ZBYSZEK on 18TH AUGUST 2015 7:14 PM


    Thank you my friend I hope and pray that your recovery is going well…


    Keep the Faith!


    Hail Hail!

  20. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    The lad I was with that day at Celtic Park asked him why he put in the transfer request.



    He just shrugged his shoulders in a kind of, “what else could I do”, sort of way.



    Fortunately, wise council, in whatever form, prevailed.



    Incidentally, that was during Sean Fallon’s term, deputising for the convalescing Jock.



    Jock had a distant, detached look in his eyes and didn’t look a well man. He was never the same again.

  21. Mr Pastry 07.13



    Are you John Collins?(:-)



    I could not agree more .


    We must get out of scottish football.




  22. HBCELT…my apologies, I mentioned the wrong team. You must e some man never to have made a mistake! :) You know what I meant, ICT/Killie are both crap teams…what does it matter? Either way, against better defenders and a keeper who actually knows what his job is, Armstrong would not have got near the goal on either occasion. I have watched so many games where Armstrong wanders all over the pitch and leaves Izzy without any protection but SA gets the plaudits and Izzy gets the abuse.


    WGS berated McGeady for not sticking to the touchline on occasions. I think Ronny should have a word with SA about not leaving his full back without protection….unless of course SA is working to Ronnys instructions.



    Hail Hail

  23. blantyretim.



    Are you going to the game.I’d be better packing my bag now,as I’ll forget something if I rush it tomorrow.

  24. Dublinbhoy of course I make mistakes, the trick is to learn from them otherwise your posts will be treated with sceptism. I don’t agree with your views on Stuart Armstrong but hey -ho that’s life . Keep on keeping on H H Hebcelt

  25. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Joe Filippis Haircut on 18th August 2015 7:12 pm



    I thought your post was a very unsettling read,mainly


    because I agree with it,they tried to protect the institution


    in doing so they have done great harm,we must now do


    right by the victims.




    Had no idea he wasn’t showing ability or applying himself with the development squad. I can only judge him from what I’ve personally seen when he’s started for the first team. For me he looked to have good ability & pace to burn. Though it doesn’t matter if he’s as good as Lionel Messi, when he’s sitting in the stands either unfit or not motivated.

  27. Saint stives



    Thanks for the laugh which, unfortunately, has left me with some unexpected bowel movements




  28. Old Tim


    I’ll be in before 5 – see work!


    I’ll try not to forget anything


    Look forward to catching up with you and others – really missed Aberdour this year



    Green and white shirt for work – check



    Hail hail

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. 8
  10. ...
  11. 13