Note of caution on potential European opponents


If it’s a choice between a trip to Macedonia or Azerbaijan, Celtic would doubtlessly prefer the former. Baku, where Azerbaijani club Qarabag reside, is not as far west as Astana, where Celtic played two years ago, but it’s east of Iraq and it’s not a city which appears in many tourist lists.

Rudar Pljevlja returned from Baku midweek with a 0-0 draw.  In days gone by that was regarded as a great away European result, but the lack of away goal will much of the second leg is played on a knife-edge.

One large note of caution, Qarabag went out of Europe last season by a one goal aggregate margin to Red Bull Salzburg, who lost in Baku, but won in Glasgow a few months later.  They have twice eliminated Polish opposition in the last five years.

My hunch is that Celtic are better than each potential opponent, but if we’re short of fitness or preparation, we’ll have more trouble than we want.

The good news is that neither club plays summer football, so they should be no better prepared that Celtic.  Rudar finished competitively in May, Qarabag a week later, while both played their first competitive games of the season on Wednesday.  From what I can tell, both also play on grass, so we’ll avoid the Scandinavian bounce.

Before concerning ourselves too much with the 3rd Champions League qualifying round we need to use today’s game against La Liga side Eibar to sharpen fitness, and take care of business in Iceland on Wednesday.

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  1. Antipodean Red @21 02……………scrolling back to-day i see you picked up on my post last night about my hollier in Antibes and you say you were possibly there at the same time as myself. I really enjoyed my first visit to to the south of France and it will definitely be a new destination for us.



    Interestingly, we did speak to a Scottish couple who asked us for directions to the train station from Nice airport as we had just got off the train and they were able to point us in the direction of the airport, could it have been you guys?



    I did notice there were very few English tourists for some reason in Antibes, nothing against them mind you.. Brilliant train service and very cheap to all those famous places along the Cote Dazur, hope II got that spelling right.

  2. Italiabhoy



    One of the many unexpected outcomes of Rangers downfall is the paucity of considered and informed input from their support.



    It’s as if always having it your own way for generations has stopped the need to exercise the brain. Like any muscle not used it becomes flaccid.



    The emergence of this guy is not surprising although it has been the seaweed of self inflicted ignorance that he is wading through that has taken it 3 years.



    All this Warburton guff is just that. It takes time to build a team and that is another item TRFC do not have a credit line on. Hibs, unless they do a Hibs, should be out of sight by the time Warburton has a team playing as one.



    The only thing making them relevant to our game is the Glasgow media who depend on them more and more for a living.

  3. Melbourne Mick on




    That will do nicely, over 80.000 at that game tonight and


    there was more atmosphere on the moon, thank god for


    oor wee green brigade choristers.


    H H Mick


    Auldheid @ 15:05



    Or it could be that any moral, reasonable or accurate voice is shouted down or threatened with violence.



    Often a trait of Fascists.

  5. kikinthenakas on

    auldheid italiabhoy



    15:05 on 18 July, 2015



    Ola, from a very warm Lagos Portugal.


    100% correct…the smsm are bricking their favourites not getting back into the SPL as their circulation diminishes so does their relevance and their jobs. I guffaw with laughter when I see posters outraged at their comments..the way to a quick death is to ignore them and don’t buy the red tops or listen to the phone ins..it makes for a more rounded stress free life. Their team like their newspapers and phone ins are an irrelevance to modern football and society.




  6. Hendrix67 Drum and Monkey is handy – good beer if like the real stuff



    Enjoy your anniv




  7. shady - 'mon the wee Oscar on

    tonydonnelly67 14:41



    You’re probably right cos the car was in old Gorbals rather than New Gorbals.



    New window from a scrappy cost more than the car was worth.




  8. leftclicktic on

    Just returned from the “LoughinIsland Massacre” parade in Coatbridge to highlight the families fight for truth & justice 21 years later in the face of alleged overwhelming cover up & collusion between state and attackers .



    A wee side note on the actions of some of Srathclydes finest .



    Last night with the permission from the council and local community groups the organisors put up bunting and tri-colours around the streets, one hour later they got a call officers and council workers were ready to try and take them down,



    On producing letter of permission from NLC they left.


    Turns out police had received a call about Tri-colours flying in Scotland and took it upon himself to call the council out to remove them, the attending officers were asked why the officer never told the caller that he was acting in a racist manner by complaining.


    The also told them the community will be flying the tri colour with council and community consent for 365 days a year if asked.


    till later all

  9. Fast and painful gym circuit just done. Hoping to do a 10k on the road tomorrow, weather permitting ( I should explain I am a big softy and hate the cold). Managed another 10k on treadmill yesterday in 58min 30 seconds, so hoping I can get under hour on road?


    Going to allow myself a couple of beers with Hoops game tonight, hoping to see a decent game not caring about result, we have hopefully 5 more cup finals before September, they are all that matters.

  10. Kikinthenakas…… HERE, HERE re our ludicrous ‘press’. Haven’t bought a Scottish paper for years, won’t click their links and wouldn’t sully my lugs with the appalling phone ins. My world is a better place for it.



    In my office every single sevconian either buys or reads the redtops.They take every piece of nonsense hun propaganda spouted by the fantasists on the radio as gospel.


    They question nothing.



    Not one of the office good ghuys buy or read the rags.



    Hun propaganda for huns.



    Pathetic really.

  11. Jmccormick.



    Best of luck.


    I’m sure you will manage.


    Go easy on the beers tonight tho.


    Don’t know if I fancy a 10k with a hangover.

  12. Rudars form in Europe is very poor.The qarabag draw is their best ever result away from home.Every team can dig one up.Still,I hope Lady Luck stays with them and they go through.A much easier task,I would think.

  13. these former soviet republics, they shoouldnt even be allowed to play in UEFA competitions, its a farce.






    is it true odengaards father and agent are meeting celtic officials while in spain. offcourse its all about Rafa agreeing to lend him out now.

  14. tictaewin



    Thanks, all encouragement is welcome, it also can shame me into actually getting on with it. Beer consumption will be restricted to 4 pints….hopefully.

  15. Just a wee thought and a nasty suspicion


    The SPFL AGM is coming up, any way we can find the agenda for this meeting ?


    I see there is a drive by the meeja to install a sevco board member onto the executive of the SPFL however I am deeply suspicious that they will try to enlarge the premier league to ensure sevco are promoted regardless of finishing place.

  16. CELTIC v @sdeibar : Bailly; Fisher, Boyata, van Dijk, Mulgrew; Brown, Bitton; Forrest, Ciftci, Armstrong; Griffiths (MD)

  17. Celtic subs: Fasan, Stokes, Lindsay, Tierney, Izaguirre, Janko, Scepovic, Rogic (MD)

  18. weet weet weet(GBWO) on




    14:53 on 18 July, 2015


    Typically I’ve just remembered it is Hugh Collins.



    He wisnae really a gangster,he stabbed a guy outside the lunar 7 pub


    After Joe Devlin stabbed him.


    A pair of feckin yobs


    Devlin was charged with murder before it was confirmed that Collins finished him off

  19. prestonpans bhoys on

    Hail hail from a very hot Marmaris, 38 today. Fed up telling Englishmen that Der Hun were not demoted but will keep up preaching!

  20. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Tallybhoy. Maybe Joe Hanson is getting a wee warning from Ronny that he is not indispensable. H.H.

  21. Prestonpans



    Wow 38C and still preaching the good news.


    Very resilient of you – respect.


    Have a good one!

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