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Note of caution on potential European opponents

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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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1,093 Comments

  1. neganon2

     

     

    23:10 on 18 July, 2015

     

    Turkeybhoy. You don’t suffer arseholes?

     

     

    How can you live with yourself??

     

     

    Post of the day…

     

     

    Lol

  2. Turkeybhoy..11/4 in a 2 horse race is a great bet..I Think Hibs will be better than last season, i Have no reason to believe the huns will improve…Think you will be collecting man..

  3. I enjoyed the match tonight against a team who are less match fit than we are at the moment,but it was a good work out for Wednesday.Great pace and last ditch tackle from Boyata and some other good performances for this time of season,apart from Leigh’s hat trick other players done well VVD and Izzy looked good when he came on.MOM was Broonie by a mile,but once again after Wednesday big Nir was struggling lost the ball twice in possession in dangerous areas and gave a needless foul in a goal scoring area.I hope I am not upsetting the Nir brigade but he needs to step up.oh and by the way the slagging off of SJ after Wednesday was appalling,support the players through good and bad.ps I hope big Nir plays a stormer on Wednesday as the rest of the team.HH.

  4. zico-maltese bhoy

     

     

    23:24 on 18 July, 2015

     

    I enjoyed the match tonight against a team who are less match fit than we are at the moment,but it was a good work out for Wednesday.Great pace and last ditch tackle from Boyata and some other good performances for this time of season,apart from Leigh’s hat trick other players done well VVD and Izzy looked good when he came on.MOM was Broonie by a mile,but once again after Wednesday big Nir was struggling lost the ball twice in possession in dangerous areas and gave a needless foul in a goal scoring area.I hope I am not upsetting the Nir brigade but he needs to step up.oh and by the way the slagging off of SJ after Wednesday was appalling,support the players through good and bad.ps I hope big Nir plays a stormer on Wednesday as the rest of the team.HH.

     

     

    Very observant post….particularly on Nir Biton in possession……

     

     

    You’ll get criticised on here for such pragmatism…..Careful now !!

  5. Hola friends from hot, sunny Nerja. 2 more sleeps then it’s back to my part time, unpaid other job….

  6. charles kickham

     

     

    I’ve only just seen what he did. Fair play to him, it’s rare to see such integrity from anyone these days.

  7. Gerryfaethebrig on

    jobo baldie

     

     

    23:44 on 18 July, 2015

     

     

    Hope you are having a great holiday but EK is missing the male Lucy Verasamy !

  8. Wits

     

     

    It would appear that during the playing of God save the queen he turned his back and bowed his head.

  9. Gerryfraethebrig

     

    ——————

     

     

    Enjoyed Griffs goals – lucky to get second-bite with third.

     

     

    Where does Griffin rate? I really don’t know, don’t think anyone does.

     

     

    “When he’s good he’s very good……….

     

     

    Still trying to work out why he’s good and vice versa – think the standard of opposition might hold the key.

     

     

    I want him, and Cifti to be prolific on all fronts – I ha’e ma doots

  10. What is the Stars on

    Hamilton

     

    Yup, a gas man

     

    It’s a Dublin expression

     

    I don’t know if you are familiar with it but it can mean almost anything

     

    A funny guy, a daring guy, a crazy guy, a bit of an eejit, a great fella for the crack, depends on the context but usually conferred as a compliment ,sometimes sarcastically as an insult

  11. Gerryfaethebrig at 23:47 on 18 July, 2015 said….

     

     

    Hope you are having a great holiday but EK is missing the male Lucy Verasamy !

     

     

    —————————————–

     

     

    I trump your Lucy with lil ole Yanet Garcia: https://youtu.be/rTKgOIRuYO8

  12. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Thompsontwin we all have our DOUBTS but if the wee.man is scoring and WE are winning at least we will be happy, if we make the group stages and get 5 on the trot we will both be celebrating

  13. Mahe the Madman on

    Sid watch fury if you haven’t seen it. Very good. If you have try survivor or gunman.Hail Hail

  14. Saw Richie looking simply magnificent this evening.

     

     

    Like he just stepped out of a salon.

     

     

    On train home surrounded by 6 ladies who can only reasonably be described as mentol!!!!

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  15. It’s a strange one, of course the queen should take one up her nazi bottom but at the same time if you choose to work and take a wage in a country you don’t agree with then you should maybe suck it up and respect their customs.

  16. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Mr Baldie so much for lack of wifi that’s the 2nd time you have posted that on Cqn, have you got that saved on your phone or iPad device ?

     

    At my age I am more of a Wincey Willis bhoy (Mrs GFTB has started lurking)

  17. Griff Will outscore Cifti Alldaylong..Only place cifti will be prolific is in the Glasgow clubs, He will score goals..He just aint a Hooper…

  18. Gerryfaethebrig on

    ginger

     

     

    23:58 on 18 July, 2015

     

     

    Cheers, just another day apart fae the Mrs & daughter bought me dinner, a crate of Dark Fruit cider & didn’t moan about me gambling, obviously that only happens once a year !

  19. GFTB –

     

     

    I simply and innocently search for weathergirl Mexico. Nothing dodgy there, surely….

  20. the_huddle

     

     

    00:01 on 19 July, 2015

     

    It’s a strange one, of course the queen should take one up her nazi bottom but at the same time if you choose to work and take a wage in a country you don’t agree with then you should maybe suck it up and respect their customs.

     

     

    ——

     

     

    James McClean pays taxes to the queen I’m not aware of anything she does for him.

  21. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Jobo you search away I am not complaining !

     

     

    I don’t usually read back but if you are lurking BigShuggy cheers for the birthday wishes hope Mrs BigShuggy is enjoying her summer holidays alone with the grandson, when the schools go back the school run will be a big miss …..

     

    Hail Hail