Malmo worries over Celtic speed and height


The sight of Mikael Lustig checking in at Glasgow Airport this morning was welcome, but we should be pragmatic, six days is little time for a hamstring to remedy itself from what was clearly a concerning injury on Wednesday. Mikael should go through some stringent tests tomorrow morning but if there is any doubt of his fitness, he should not be risked.

Football is a 13 or 14 man game. Ronny will want to make two, possibly three, fatigue or tactical changes. Losing a player early to injury would severely hamper his options, allowing Ronny only one change, if he wants to keep a sub for late game, or extra time, contingencies.  For what it’s worth, I believe the knocks taken by Lustig and Griffiths in the first leg cost us fresh legs, and ultimately territory, leading up to Malmo’s second.

Celtic’s perpetrations went a lot better than Malmo’s over the weekend. A comfortable win with what for all intents and purposes is our second 11, while Malmo put a full-strength team out, restored those suspended for last week’s Celtic game, and lost to lowly Hacken.

Journalists close to Malmo assure me the Swedes hope to tempt Celtic into an attacking formation, just as they did to Salzburg in the last round. Salzburg arrived full of confidence but were picked apart on the break. Celtic’s own pace on the break is one worry for Malmo, who want Celtic to play high up the field.  The other is defending set-pieces. Hacken, who don’t have the height advantage of Celtic, scored from a corner kick on Saturday.

Winning free kicks 30 yards from goal would be useful. This is Kris Commons territory. Kris knows how to put his body between ball and man, and wait for the barge, although James Forrest displayed the same tactical-awareness in the first leg.  I’d have Kris holding a training session tonight: “This is what to do with your first touch, this is where you put your bum, then wait….”

Protect the defence, break quickly through Forrest, Johansen and Griffiths, and allow van Dijk, Boyata, Bitton, Griffiths and Lustig/Ambrose to give Malmo something to worry about at set-pieces, and we’ll win this game.

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  1. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Cant believe the beeb never showed Scott Allan’s debut on Saturday, quite blatant anti Celtic coverage.

  2. I’m getting some messages on my face book about themselves on their web sites and tweets, berating big Stubbsy about the testicle cancer, their moral compass has no boundaries .

  3. Delaneys Dunky on

    Hope Ronny sets the team up like he did in Qarabag. Protect our goal at all costs and hit the Swedes a couple of times on the break. 2-0 Celtic I predict.


    Hail Hail

  4. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    6 @celticfc players (Gordon, Mulgrew, Brown, Forrest, Armstrong, Griffiths) in Scotland squad but somehow none from Sevco’s world beating side!



    Lodge agendas across the land will be checking SFA rules !



    How sad, what a shame, never mind!

  5. If I was them I would be worried about getting troughed by pigs with the muck they’ve been spreading. COYBIG, bring home the bacon and expose that flat-packed back four.



    I’ll get me coat!!

  6. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on 24th August 2015 7:28 am







    Taurangabhoy on 24th August 2015 7:10 am Completely agree. Think Northern European “work ethic.” Compare and contrast.












    Move over Max Weber and Calvin……….




    Just think it through for a while………




  7. Marrakesh Express on

    I see the Celtic Shop in Argyle Street had its windows caved in again yesterday. Any chance Blue tie McKay will mention it on STV news?

  8. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    Think tomorrow’s game could well be a case of ‘First goal the winner”



    If we go 1 up, they will have to chase the game to pull back 2 goals and will leave gaps at the back. If They score first, we will have to chase the game and as Paul stated be vulnerable to the counterattack against an exposed defence.



    We have previously played a ‘3’ in front of the back ‘4’ away in Europe with Mulgrew playing alongside the defensive 2. Might work here, especially with the pace of a front 3 of Forrest, Griffiths and Armstrong.



    We have a menacing height advantage so any corners or free kicks around the box would be real goalscoring opportunities – and there may not be many of them.



    Concentration (including keeping 11 players on the park), good energy and taking the chances created should see us qualify – COYBIG

  9. Christian Wulff ‏@aHellofaBeating · 6m6 minutes ago



    Hareide: Standards of leagues is a problem for Scotland & Sweden in getting into Champions League; quality of matches not on same level



    Malmo manager echoing John Collins’ assertion.



    Árd Macha




  10. If we go in to the game with Ambrose at right back we will lose at least one goal directly attributable to his action / inaction.



    Give Janko his chance if Lustig is injured. An actual right back – not a poor centre half played out of position.

  11. Paul, as always, makes a cogent, but in my humble opinion, an unconvincing case.



    It will be individual performances on which this match- will hinge on.



    Frailty and naivety is the ongoing problem we have with the standard of player that we have.



    Our model also dictates that we sign relatively young players with little, no, European experience.



    I am not convinced that we will score, and that being the case, can we then hold out for a no scoring draw?



    Malmo were able to score two with only 40% possession and in a very hostile and partisan environment – why wouldn’t they be able to do the same in their own ‘cauldron’?



    I don’t have ‘blind faith’ in our squad – the players have displayed their fragility in almost every match this seadon – I pray, ‘in the presence of the Lord’, that we come through this, the biggest financial game in our club’s history, but I am not holding my breath.

  12. mullet and co 2 on



    Forrest Griffiths Johansen and Commons then?



    No Armstrong and who plays left side? Johansen.

  13. glendalystonsils on




    I agree about corners/set pieces being a weapon for us to exploit but we have lost goals from teams breaking on us from these attacking positions. This is something we must allow for, maybe leaving an extra man back and making sure the delivery is good.

  14. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Tomorrows game will be in my opinion a bit like a chess match if Malmo score first what do they do as 1-0 wins the tie so do they defend or do they go for a second this may cause them some problems.If we score first they have to come out and look for two goals to win the tie so there are mind set problems for Malmo and this may play into our hands. H.H.

  15. glendalystonsils on

    Funny how, when scrolling up the way, you can often tell who has written a post before you see the moniker?

  16. godblesstommyburns on

    matches like this always make me think of Red`s line from the shawshank redemption-


    something along the lines of “its not the despair that gets to you , its the hope”

  17. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Mr.Pastry. Funny my wife said to me say a prayer for Celtic to win but I feel it is only a game of football dont get me wrong I desperately want Celtic to win.However, God I feel has many more serious prayers to answer without me praying over a game of football thats just my opinion mind. H.H.

  18. Emrod_lives on 24th August 2015 12:35 pm




    If we go in to the game with Ambrose at right back we will lose at least one goal directly attributable to his action / inaction.







    Give Janko his chance if Lustig is injured. An actual right back – not a poor centre half played out of position.


    – See more at: http://www.celticquicknews.co.uk/malmo-worries-over-celtic-speed-and-height/#sthash.3xBJxrUF.dpuf




    Is Janko an actual right back?



    I’m not sure yet. He looks decent going forward, like a runaway train but not seen him enough defensively.



    We play with too many offensive minded players, including our defenders.



    I’d like to see us bring in a couple of guys who are defenders first and foremost.



    Of course Tuesday will determine the quality of what we can bring in.



    Keep the heid tomorrow and we can do it.

  19. traditionalist88 on

    Celtic threatened to overrun them the other night and must be pretty confident of scoring more than once tomorrow. I remember how poorly we played away to Elfsborg a couple of seasons ago but I think our away performances and general tactical intelligence have improved massively since then. We started slowly in Azerbaijan but if we are ready from the off tomorrow we should be able to get in behind them no problem. I’d keep big Nadir on the bench again.




  20. They scored goals from the usual individual mistakes which tend to follow us about in Europe.



    If our players can keep their calm, stay alert and cut out the stupid errors, from our best player Brown down to our more average players then we will win.



    I know that because i know we will score at least 2 goals against Malmo the Pish.



    MWD said AYE

  21. Joe Filippis Haircut on 24th August 2015 1:01 pm





    My reference was more to do with a musical, rather than a religious one – apologies if it was not clear – I suppose we all have different musical histories and taste,

  22. coolmore mafia on

    Can’t wait for the game. Win or lose, i support Ronny and hope he stays for a long while.

  23. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Mr.Pastry. No problem fella it wasnt meant as a criticism of you more like your post had me thinking and I thought I would let you know of my conversation with my better half. H.H.

  24. ziggydoc1



    I know what you mean about Janko but – yes – he is a right back. He has been pushed further up the park previously but he is defo a right back to trade.



    Best form of defence is attack though eh? Ambrose offers next to nothing going forward and I’ve seen nothing to suggest Janko is any less of a defender than Ambrose at the back, he certainly couldn’t be any worse.

  25. mullet and co 2 on

    Personally, I’d like to see Commons sit in front of Brown and Bitton with Forrest and Johansen playing narrow in front.


    Kris could be the extra man we need in there, pick up balls from the defence and holding midfielders… If he gets up in support of the afore mentioned 3 he can have a shot orwon a free kick.


    Johansen took up some interesting positions at times when they had a corner. He was either our second forward ready to knock on for Griffiths or stood on the edge of the box ready for a loose ball.


    The problem we might have is limiting resources going forward to stop them getting through us. Eg we get a corner, let’s not have all the team inside their half. Leave at least 5 players outside. Their keeper and right full back are suspect. Boyata bombed a few passes over the full backs head in the first leg that didn’t come to much. With extra space behind them in this leg I expect us to exploit that sore point. The full back has also had the highest number of fouls against him from any player in the early stages of the competition.

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