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. Marrakesh Express on

    We got big praise from Bt sport pundits tonight. Ferdinand, Scholes, Lineker and Hoddle all raving about the CP atmosphere on European nights, especially big Rio.


    They mentioned Messi quoting that it was the best atmosphere in the CL, and of course that we were the first British team to win it.

  2. glendalystonsils on

    ROAMER on 18th August 2015 10:48 pm



    There’s goals in that team. Even without Scepovic. >)


    We’ve got to do something about Berget tomorrow.



    That facial hair is outrageous.

  4. Turkeybhoy on 18th August 2015 10:37 pm



    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.




    Just looked it up, not much really. Though I’d guess they’ll be spending BIG money before the end of August once guaranteed CL football.





    Morgan Schneiderlin – Southampton, £25m


    Bastian Schweinsteiger – Bayern Munich, £14.4m


    Memphis Depay – PSV Eindhoven, £31m


    Matteo Darmian – Torino, £12.7m


    Sergio Romero – Sampdoria, Free





    Angel Di Maria – PSG, £44.3m


    Robin van Persie – Fenerbahce, £3.84m


    Nani – Fenerbahce, £4.5m


    Rafael Da Silva – Lyon, £2.5m


    Tom Cleverley – Everton, Free


    Reece James – Wigan, £1m


    Saidy Janko – Celtic, Compensation


    Angelo Henriquez – Dinamo Zagreb, £1.15m

  5. Now that the Catholic Church has openly let a Former Moderator of the COS preside over a inquest of abuse within its clergy and lay people,and rightly so,can we now expect the same can be done in reverse.


    The Catholic Church will suffer,as will the members,but are they the only ones or are the victims only of the one cloth.


    God bless all the victims.

  6. Thanks for the info Fastbhoy, I am only looking for the return trip though, as I plan to be in Glasgow during the day. But might be worth speaking to them if you have any contact details?



    Thanks for that BCW, I think thats who I have e-mailed and phoned today, but will try them if you have a number or e-mail?



    Thanks guys!

  7. Lennybhoy



    Hail Hail on your Birthday :-)



    Bada, very well done to you, nice career move :-)



    Now COYBIG, for Wednesday night


    Down in Consett, will need to be rushing back up the road for the game



    Hail Hail

  8. glendalystonsils on 18th August 2015 10:52 pm





    Lustig boyata vvd izzy


    Bitton broony


    Forrest johansen Armstrong





    Only going wi griff as he seems to be in a rich vein of form’ and ciftci May be lacking match sharpness

  9. 67 European Cup Winners,


    Yo, Dude! I’ve just been reminiscing about our days on the terraces at the old Celtic end.


    Had a great day at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it would benefit from checking it out. Hope all’s well. Will be in London next Tuesday if you fancy watching Malmo game together with Miss Rubicon?

  10. Malta Mick Fgura on

    Celtic HT FT… Basel HT FT.. Pay for 1st away trip in the group stage.. Hail Hail. Waiting for Bumble Bee to arrive….tomorrow ??? The bhoy Allan on the bench, bring him on at 3 0.

  11. I only hope RD plays our strongest 11. I canny wait to cheer the team on, what will be, a fantastic European night again. Woooohoooo. Roll on Paradise. Hope the GB tifo works out. Busy day the mo, night all. HH




    Isn’t there a bus from Kirkcaldy? The Joseph Rafferty CSC has a banner at every game?

  13. HT , All


    Your team is very similar to the one I would choose, except I would include Charlie Mulgrew at either CB or LB.


    The reasons are twofold


    1) Boyata is making too many unforced errors and we can’t afford to let him play his way back into form during such an important game


    2) Charlie is a threat at free kicks / set pieces, and without Kris C, we are a bit light in that area, with only VVD consistently scoring or forcing a save from set pieces



    The other one you call out is Ciftci.


    I would start him, let him soften them up, and bring on Griffiths after 65



    Substitutions could be important tomorrow


    – we must assume either Lustig or Forrest won’t last 90 minutes


    – IF we don’t have injuries having GMS , Griffiths & Commons on the bench, gives us 3 players who could score a winning goal . Also, bringing on Scott Allan, wouldn’t be ideal, but if we were 0 0 at say, 80 mins it would lift the crowd & give players a second wind

  14. Mr Pastry…………….who really cares about English football there’s quite a lot of crap down yonder as well.

  15. Suggestions for CQN folk for celtic bars in Hong Kong for what will be a 2.45am kick off here ?

  16. I see that great representative of FC Dignity ,Craig Houston,has made a right James Hunt of himself tonight.All over his twitter account,songs about Scott Allan being “Gay”.


    Will this restrict his seemingly high profile with the media?.


    I will await the Record tomorrow.

  17. Pathetic ‘journalism’ with all the papers leading with Virgil to be sold on the day of our biggest game. Why not support our top club you hurting turds

  18. Highland Paddy on

    Clyde SSB tonight Roger Hannah one of the few SMSM to actually call it like is at sevco. Hannah sayin that GASL not invested one penny in the 36 month old club of which he is chairman.. Also see Ex Celt Beram Kayal scores 1st goal in English C’ship tonight (1min) v ma fav English team Huddersfield Town. Always good to see most ex Celts scoring.. Just as long as it’s not to the detriment of The Hoops or The Huddy !! Although he’s probably out of our price range Ex Huddy striker Jordan Rhodes would score for fun in Scotland. Untested in Europe but so was Hooper. Been down in Huddersfield for a few matches. Local Terriers fans say Rhodes likes Celtic in Scotland. Great St. Patrick’s day parade every year the week before 17th March. Thousands attend, carnival atsmophere, Irish dancing, rebel bands, Celtic strips, and not a polis to be seen !!

  19. Malta Mick Fgura on 18th August 2015 11:10 pm



    Let’s let the ghuy hear what 60’000 of the best fans in the world sounds like. On that note anyone know if we are on track for a sell out.


    Going to the game for the 1st time in a while. May pop into bv’ would be good to put some faces to names(butterflies are beautiful)

  20. Going to a funeral on Friday – A Humanist Funeral. That makes me oh so sad, sadder than anything anyone could ever say or do to me.



    Not one Hymn is allowed, not even a hymn from over 100 years ago.



    I will say a little prayer though.

  21. A few wee additions to the site to mention. First one I think you will like but let us know if not!



    On desktop at right hand side just above the league table there’s a black band with white text saying LATEST COMMENT ON CQN. Apart from having your name up in lights for a brief moment when you post this is handy as it will take you to the last page of comments. Great for those who read from the end back the way and saves you the hassle of clicking through the article and then on the last page number etc



    Below the league table there’s another black band and alongside RECENT and POPULAR we have added ARCHIVE. Select this if you are looking for an old post and associated comments. It goes back to October 2011 when the previous design for the blog was introduced.


    Finally the Denayer story last night swamped the hard working but exhausted CQN servers. Work continues on all of this.

  22. Sneddoni,



    As bcw says, big raffs bus would be your best bet.



    If not. I might have a spare in the car and can get ye close but won’t know till lunchtime tomorrow for defo.




  23. Thanks again BCW, I was in contact with them, they said there ‘should’ be space on the bus, and to just turn up tomorrow. But I want to be in Glasgow much earlier than they will arrive. So tried to contact them again about just getting back with them. Only got the organisers voicemail tonight, but will phone/text tomorrow.



    Thanks for helping me out.



    Geordie Munro, thanks. That would be great if I can’t get in contact with them again, or there is no space.



    I can look on here tomorrow if you post, or give you my e-mail?



    Thanks guys




  24. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Five things to look forward to.



    1. Supporting Hamilton Tim in his push for a living wage resolution at the AGM.



    2. Princess ACGR returning home today after five months trying but not quite getting to sting up a few Khmer Rouge war criminals.



    3. Celtic pumping Malmo today (sorry Miss Acgr, some things are just too important).



    4. Following the hun grief at Celtic signing “one of their own”.



    5. Enjoying Mr pastry, Ttwin, Alfie nooks continually make a throbbing cock of himself.



    Hoopy daze

  25. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Sorry Winning Captains, just wanted to test out your wee black banner thingee.




  26. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on 19th August 2015 1:01 am




    Sorry Winning Captains, just wanted to test out your wee black banner thingee.







    Me too.



    It does.



    Nice one.

  27. Originalsadiesbhoy


    The blog must have been lonely while I was out with my grand wean for ice cream.


    It will be comforted knowing I’m back.


    Grand daughter had chocolate, I had moose tracks and brought back a strawberry for the better, much better, half.