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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. what is the stars

     

     

    00:39 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Indeed, I’m sure none of us have any difficulties with beliefs which are genuinely held. We’ll disagree with them but respect the integrity in which they’re held.

  2. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    01:04 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:55 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    So if James MaxLean’s family has been affected with British rule he should just pay respect to “local custom” The Huddle don’t know about Devils Advocate but seems to me you are tuned to the moon, I have never stepped foot in Ifeland but both grandfathers (who I never met) had issues with the Black n Tans so I am sure young James knows more people than me just too settle for respecting “local customs” hopefully your ignorance is bliss good night & God bless

     

    ——————-

     

    Do you know if his family have been affected? Or guessing?

     

     

    He chooses to work in a country that oppresses his family.

     

     

    He’s now a millionaire and still chooses to work in a country that oppresses his family.

     

     

    I bet his family love the fact he continues to pay taxes to a government that oppresses his family.

  3. the_huddle

     

     

    00:55 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    00:51 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    00:38 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    So much for my last comment…. Local customs ????

     

     

    Can you inform me of these local customs……..

     

    ——————-

     

    In England they have this thing called the national anthem, it’s this boring shit where they play a song about an old dear and you stand and look bored.

     

     

    Similar to Abu Dubai where they don’t allow drinking, or bare tops, or women driving. Local customs.

     

     

    We don’t agree with them but you know being polite puts us in the right.

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    I’ll take integrity and honesty and decency over politeness any day of the week.

     

     

    By standing ‘bored’ aren’t the Gerards etc the hypocrites rather than someone who refuses to, for their own beliefs?

     

     

    I genuinely can’t understand the thought process of anyone who’d criticise McClean for his actions so there’s no point in me commenting further.

  4. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle I plucked that out the air knew it would be wrong :O)

     

     

     

    Whit ????

     

     

    I am pretty sure his family would be delighted he is doing very well, like most families would, again I do not know a single thing about young James MacLean it seems you are annoyed about where he plays his trade….

     

     

    I still wish he was plying his trade at Celtic park as the bhoy can play

  5. mickbhoy1888 on

    Bmcuw

     

     

     

    And don’t call me son,it makes you look like the kind of patronising git who gives decent policemen a bad name.

     

     

    Is that serving polis or retired polis with a a big taxpayers pension ??????

  6. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    01:13 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle I plucked that out the air knew it would be wrong :O)

     

     

    Whit ????

     

     

    I am pretty sure his family would be delighted he is doing very well, like most families would, again I do not know a single thing about young James MacLean it seems you are annoyed about where he plays his trade….

     

     

    I still wish he was plying his trade at Celtic park as the bhoy can play

     

    ————–

     

    He’s an average player so I wouldnt’ want him playing for us.

     

     

    It’s called hypocrisy, something CQN has a major problem with.

  7. mickbhoy1888 on

    Right wan merr Pedro Xminez and ahm away to me scratchir……….so get your cheep anti- polis/taxi jibes in now while you can

  8. the_huddle

     

     

    Ahhh flip it I was trying to remain reasonable! :-)

     

     

    So because McClean plays football in England he should respect the queen?

     

     

    Do you see how ridiculous that is?

     

     

    Try equating that to any employee in any joy.

  9. HT

     

     

    Put away your reasonableness for tonight.

     

    And save it for another occasion. And the proponent of a more reasonable line of argument!

     

     

    TAL

     

     

    Night Timdom

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  10. Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:20 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    Ahhh flip it I was trying to remain reasonable! :-)

     

     

    So because McClean plays football in England he should respect the queen?

     

     

    Do you see how ridiculous that is?

     

     

    Try equating that to any employee in any joy.

     

    ———

     

    Of course not, never respect the queen. Respect the custom of the national anthem, surely you can see the difference?

     

     

    Rooney, Scholes and Gary Neville have all refused to sing the national anthem, and have been criticised for it.

  11. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Local custom , Saudi & UAE

     

     

    Very good

     

     

    The Exiled Tim you just reminded of my favourite (Kev)Jungle chant

     

     

    Michael Fagan s@@@@@@ the huddles queen

  12. mickbhoy1888 on

    So McLean chose to play for NI at under 21 level when his talents were unrecognised by his future international employers

     

    Wonder if he hummed or cursed the national anthem at that level

     

    And someone was talking about whores earlier I ask you ??????

  13. HT

     

     

    In your class if you were talking bull about Scottish history and a kid turned their desk round and stopped listening because they didn’t agree with what you were saying – what would you do?

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on

    mickbhoy1888

     

     

    So as young kid trying to make your way in life did you stand up for every principle you had, maybe West Brom paying £1.5m for you just perchance you might say “stuff it” I am not playing to her tune…..nor maybe your principles would be more important

     

     

    I honestly don’t see one tiny bit this should annoy one person on any football site, or is it the fact it’s young James MacLean…… For me it’s the people that have the problem and not a young man earning his living and standing by what he thinks, who cares if he should have done it when he was 14 he is doing it now,medal with it

  15. mickbhoy1888 on

    HT

     

     

    I’ve only one Cafe Creme left so promise you when it’s finito definitely away to my uncle ned

     

     

    Ps only away ticks I’ve applied for are Tannadice Pittodrie couple up north and Tyne castle hope

     

    To see you there

     

     

     

    PPs get tiny tim to send you the American Sniperclip. I sent him

  16. the_huddle

     

     

    01:24 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:20 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    Ahhh flip it I was trying to remain reasonable! :-)

     

     

    So because McClean plays football in England he should respect the queen?

     

     

    Do you see how ridiculous that is?

     

     

    Try equating that to any employee in any joy.

     

    ———

     

    Of course not, never respect the queen. Respect the custom of the national anthem, surely you can see the difference?

     

     

    Rooney, Scholes and Gary Neville have all refused to sing the national anthem, and have been criticised for it.

     

     

    ——-

     

     

    I’m done, you win.

     

     

    James McClean from Derry, the city where 14 of his countrymen were murdered by crown forces in 1972, refused to stand in respect for the queen, who’s lawyers excused the perpetrators , is a hypocrite and money grabber.

     

     

    I’m sorry but we’ll agree to differ.

  17. Gerryfaethebrig on

    medal with it – deal with it

     

     

    Tiocfaidh ar la (that just means our day will come it’s not sectarian)

  18. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    Strangest thing that reminded me of it, was a total numpty who reckoned that if it’s on the tele, it must be true, and they made feck all of ol lizy getting humped.

     

     

    That in a strange way tickles the grey matter.

     

     

    Ach well, her salute is par for the course.

     

     

    Sleep well Timland.

     

     

    HH

     

    KTF

  19. the_huddle

     

     

    01:26 on 19 July, 2015

     

    HT

     

     

    In your class if you were talking bull about Scottish history and a kid turned their desk round and stopped listening because they didn’t agree with what you were saying – what would you do?

     

     

    —–

     

     

    Yes, because that’s the same.

  20. Gerryfaethebrig on

    The huddle

     

     

    Good night and God bless, the blog is always about begging to differ, although we might disagree about James, especially his football abilities I need to thank you for one thing, my Sevconian pals when then mention THEIR anthem I will tell them it’s just a “local custom”

     

     

    Take care & Hail Hail

  21. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Before I hit my kip I would love to know how to “stop listening” that would be so good

  22. mickbhoy1888 on

    Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    I don’t have any problem with James McLean per se but any footballers I have had the pleasure of meeting in the modern era have only had only one person in mind and that themselves

     

    Jeez I remember a dyed in the wool Tim brought up in the Garngad whom the Celtic support idolised and ended up a judas …..you know the rest

     

     

    Gone are the days when no matter what faith you were brought up in……you sign for the club that offer you the highest that are offering you the highest financial renumeration