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 18th August 2015 7:12 pm



    The Catholic Church is run by men and any organisation run by men will be fallible



    * Any organisation that has adults involved with weans is always open to abuse where be it church, football, hockey, boy scouts etc. and it’s my belief that these animals use the cloak of priest, coach, scout/cubs leaders to get close to the weans.

  2. Is Scott Allan in the squad ? He might be a handy sub if they park the bus? Crowd reaction too if he is out warming up..

  3. Dublinbhoy



    You are 100% correct red MOTM on Saturday. Broonie was immense and did more in 60 mins than anyone came close to matching in 90.



    But to be fair Armstrong didn’t give himself the award!



    HH jamesgang

  4. Theoriginalsadie:



    Relax, I just wanted to start up a discussion on Celtic and present my views on Armstrong. I have nothing against SA, in fact I like the kid, but I believe that Izzys apparent loss of form is directly attributable to SA deciding to wander around the pitch. I also think that Stokes works a helluva better at left midfield than SA.



    Hail Hail

  5. Thanks Sanna, no worries.



    I had looked at that site the other day, and e-mailed the contact and got a phone number for somone else, but just voice mail the now.



    Will keep trying.



    Thanks for trying though.




  6. BadaBing, whilst you are correct, we must keep those with troubles in our thoughts and prayers, there is nothing wrong, indeed there is a lot of good, in celebrating our successes.


    Well done mhate.

  7. Dublin….


    You are absolutely right…SB was on top of his game and easily my MOTM






    Sponsors motm is quite another thing!



    Long time ago my company sponsored a Celtic match and I was hosting guests who were to nominate the motm. Celtic officials came to me to ask that we maybe would like NOT to nominate Henrik who of course everybody wanted to meet.



    From memory I think we gave it to Simon Lynch. Club Official was great though and he arranged for Henrik to pop in to see us…




  8. Man U had Zadok the Priest before KO,must be played at Play Off round,bring it on …..cue ACGR ……

  9. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on



    Nye Bevans. We should all feel disturbed by what has gone on and as equally important in my book is the cover up.The men and women involved were supposed to lead the congregation in how to lead there lives in order for the congregation to gain eternal life. Now many of them were committing horrific sexual assaults against weaker members of the Church while preaching on how to lead a holy life.Now if they truly repent they like anyone else deserve forgiveness but they should no longer hold the trusted position of priest or bishop or nun etc. I believe if there is no follow up from todays report the apology will be a hollow token.





    Why bring this onto CQN on the eve of a hugely important game? I doubt if anyone has the desire to talk about this tonight. This could have waited until another time.

  10. Justafan:



    I didn’t realise that…so the award is pointless and has no bearing on who influenced the game the most?


    Really my reason for bringing that up was to highlight how others seem to be blind to the downsides to SA’s game. Again, I like SA and am only trying to open up a discussion and highlight his tendency to move completely out of position which no one else seems to see.



    Hail Hail

  11. I don’t expect Commons to be fit enough to start tomorrow so the starting 11 almost picks itself.






    Lustig VVD Boyata Izzy



    Brown Bitton



    Forest Johansen Armstrong






    That probably wouldn’t be quite my team but that’s the 11 I think will start.

  12. Dublin…



    Of course ALL MOTM awards are useless.



    A bit of fun.



    Totally useless….unless of course I agree with it!







  13. Justafan:



    Useless?? But they get a bottle of champagne for MOTM! :)))



    Anyway lads, I’m done annoying everyone and reverting back to lurk mode. I am in a rather dull training class (online) and needed to amuse myself today.



    BTW, for the record, I honestly hope SA has the game of his life and scores a few to rocket us into the CL group stages.



    Hail Hail

  14. @FACKilltheBill: FAC met last night and agreed a series of campaigning events for the next season. Watch out for two matchday events in October #AxetheAct

  15. HRVATSKI JIM on 18TH AUGUST 2015 1:23 PM





    Thanks for that, what’s latest chat with denayer about ? Just paper talk or seem to be more than that ?

  16. Margaret McGill on

    All CL play-off games this week and next free on American cable except Celtic Malmö for $10 a game …… Errrrrrrr….. Naw… Good luck bhoys

  17. Captain Beefheart on

    Terrifying to think that Cifci will be the striker. He may well, in time, become very effective for Celtic but currently Ned Flanders looks more menacing than him. The Elvis botherer Stokesey would be preferable in some respects.



    Massive gamble.

  18. Margaret McGill on 18th August 2015 10:09 pm



    All CL play-off games this week and next free on American cable except Celtic Malmö for $10 a game …… Errrrrrrr….. Naw… Good luck bhoys –



    *free up here in the Great White North

  19. I tried posting that reply to jim about 8hrs ago so he pro not see it now..






    What’s the story with denayer ? Few Celtic fbook pages saying he could be on his way back to paradise.



    After seeing some of boyota mistakes a centre defence without VVD in the group stages scares me..

  20. glendalystonsils on

    Is that world class, Messi-esque Jo Inge Berget who’s gonnae tear us a new one tomorrow any relation to the dumplin’ of the same name who was on our books last season?




    Naw?………..didnae think so.

  21. KevJungle, I’m very sorry to hear about your condition. I have no idea who you are, but by God, I’d want you alongside me if the sh!t really went down and we faced the things that are happening all across the World.



    God Bless your Strong Wife and Son, and you as well obviously, you never were a Self guy, that was always obvious.



    Come on Celtic, win tomorrow and win well. You know when something good is going to happen. Utah Saints in the place.



    All the games tonight are tight because of the amounts of MONEY involved.



    Celtic will, I hope, win 3-0 or 4-1.

  22. Takes time for players to settle, longer to get to know role and responsibilities within system, hopefully with enough players settled and knowing what’s expected we shall see success on the field…



    we have miles to go, still see poor movement off the ball, lack of penetration in final third and poor concentration at the back



    still given that we are one year into a complete change in style i actually thing it will improve further



    we still need new players more suited as the likes of stokes, derk, commons, mulgrew etc… just don’t fit anymore



    p.s. Thought SA showed good drive and determination to get inside on Saturday and i am sure that is more in line with the system and what’s expected than him just deciding to do that of own according, maybe RD knows what he is doing after all!!!



    we’ll soon find out, and i don’t mean just this game




  23. Thomthethim, from earlier..Tom Callaghan was such an under-rated player and, as you say, suffered from unfair barracking from the less informed amongst our family. I thought he was a star. Not unlike Nir Bitton but on the left wing.

  24. Heading off to the bed, bus at 0830 tomorrow. Gets to CP around 3.30 to 4 pm. Hope to be around CQN Corner, just after 7pm. I have a few family things to do.



    Anyway, hope to meet a few, lhads.







  25. Proudbhoy



    I don’t know anything about Denayer. I would love to have him back but it is only speculation because City are trying to get another defender.



    Simunovic seems a definite target if Peter has gone to Zagreb. He could have taken me with him to help me improve my Croatian. On second thoughts we would probably have signed his mum if I was responsible for the deal.

  26. H,mmm,not 100% sure about Mechele tonight.Defended very well at times,sold himself a couple of times,got on the wrong side a few times.Stupid mistake to get the red card.


    Maybe not the best game to judge him as Brugge got a pretty torrid time of it.


    How much have Man U spent this window.Monopoly money.

  27. Sneddoni is a bus leaving Kelty Cross at 5,00. I don’t know if it`s too far for you. Not sure about seat availability though.

  28. Very strong words from Jasons agent.Says if they sign the CH Otamendi,then thats it,Jason is off.Man City agreed this.Very strange.


    If that is the case,I would imagine he will be sold.Way out of our league if thats the case.


    Still ,you never know.




    There’s a bus from Leven. I got a ticket from them at Hampden recently, so assume they will be at Celtic park tomorrow.


    Ciftci up top tomorrow???



    No. Absolutely not. Negative. No, no, no…..!!!!

  31. My team for tomorrow







    Janko Ambrose mulgrew tierny


    Rogic Lindsay


    McGregor Allan boerigter





    Ok maybe not boerigter