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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. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    01:43 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    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

     

    ————–

     

    I don’t know what the Sevco anthem is? Why be cryptic?

  2. What is the Stars on

    It was while he was at Millwall that the Bloody Sunday massacre by British Army paratroopers occurred, on 30 January 1972. Always interested in politics, Dunphy wanted to show solidarity with the people of Derry. He lobbied Irish players in England and Ireland to wear black armbands in matches the following Saturday. No one else would. Dunphy did. He stood alone. No one at Millwall said a word

  3. Margaret McGill on

    I remember when I j was 6

     

    We had a German neighbour

     

    I used to goose step up and down the garden with my fingers to my lips

     

    Once a smart arse….

  4. mickbhoy1888 on

    hamiltontim

     

     

    01:45 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Mickbhoy

     

     

    2 lengths and ahm buggered

  5. Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:42 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    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.

     

    ————

     

    It is but you choose to be flippant

  6. What is the Stars on

    Maggie

     

     

    I still goose step up and down the garden on a regular basis

     

     

     

    Does that make me a bad person

  7. Gerryfaethebrig on

    mickbhoy1888

     

     

    01:46 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Exactly, they are just normal punters (apart face Paul McStay) they shouldn’t be heralded as heroes so young James should be allowed to be his own person, as for M@ J$ that basket broke my heart as a wee 18yr old daftie…. Why should James MacLean be ridiculed just because he is loaded ? This is not a knew thing, as I posted before it’s the people who this annoy that have the problem

  8. the_huddle

     

     

    01:49 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:42 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    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.

     

    ————

     

    It is but you choose to be flippant

     

     

    —–

     

     

    Not at all, you chose to bring my profession into a discussion about the integrity of a footballer.

     

     

    Personally, I think that was a shite thing to do.

     

     

    You batter away mate, I’m done with this.

  9. Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:54 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    01:49 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Hamiltontim

     

     

    01:42 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    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.

     

    ————

     

    It is but you choose to be flippant

     

     

    —–

     

     

    Not at all, you chose to bring my profession into a discussion about the integrity of a footballer.

     

     

    Personally, I think that was a shite thing to do.

     

     

    You batter away mate, I’m done with this.

     

    —————

     

    Don’t be so precious, it was highlighting one person turning away and another person turning away. Pretty simple.

  10. Gerryfaethebrig on

    the_huddle

     

     

    Honestly it’s getting pretty tedious, You don’t even know the song we have been going on about…….as I posted earlier maybe your problem isn’t with wee lizzies tune maybe it’s young James, as I have already posted take care &I hail Hail enjoy the rest of the season whatever team or whatever anthems you are listening or not listening too

  11. mickbhoy1888 on

    Anyway final word before ahm away to my scratchir

     

     

    Foodies do yourselves a favour and head doon too Cubatas on the corner of Elderslie Street and Berkley Street a really good Spanish Tapas establishment with a couple of Barca boys strumming on their guitars which makes for an excellent night oot

     

     

    Ps 9 tapas and 2 bottles of Merlot £88.50

  12. The obvious question to put to Donald Chump is “whilst Senator McCain was suffering daily torture in a Vietnamese POW camp, what were you doing Donald?”

  13. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    01:57 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    the_huddle

     

     

    Honestly it’s getting pretty tedious, You don’t even know the song we have been going on about…….as I posted earlier maybe your problem isn’t with wee lizzies tune maybe it’s young James, as I have already posted take care &I hail Hail enjoy the rest of the season whatever team or whatever anthems you are listening or not listening too

     

    ——–

     

    We are talking about the English national anthem what song are you talking about?

  14. Gerryfaethebrig on

    HT

     

     

    Apologies, that was my fault thinking it was just a laugh too start with, as I have already posted I think the problem is more with young James MacLean than anything else, I was going to say you shouldn’t have even got involved but sometimes it’s unavoidable but I am definitely away to ma kip as Mags is an arguement too far for this bhoy

     

     

    Cqn take care & Hail Hail every single poster

  15. Gerryfaethebrig on

    Just before I go The Huddle not sure if the English national anthem is not just wee Lizzies tune but to keep things even why not tell HT where you work then it’s an even arguement, av already stated I am in the public sector, just read back and to bring the kids in a class into a daft blog talk is pretty classless …..

     

     

    Never been so happy too see 3% power on the IPad…………………

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    James McLean had every right to protest as do those who disagree with him.

  17. mickbhoy1888 on

    Listening too the rain ootside the Open might even be finished Tuesday or Wednesday

  18. Dearie Me

     

     

    9 Tapas and 2 bottles of prob better Merlot than Glasgow has ever seen

     

     

    Less than a tenner, and that would be euros, about 7 of your brit pounds, and you call 88.50 value, a huge sigh…..

     

     

    Mucho customers to rip off me thinks.

     

     

    HH

  19. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    02:05 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    Just before I go The Huddle not sure if the English national anthem is not just wee Lizzies tune but to keep things even why not tell HT where you work then it’s an even arguement, av already stated I am in the public sector, just read back and to bring the kids in a class into a daft blog talk is pretty classless …..

     

     

    Never been so happy too see 3% power on the IPad…………………

     

    —————-

     

    I’m in the public sector as well, Scottish Government. I can deal with those SNP so and so every day, not pretty. I get the queens birthday off :O) I’d guy fawkes the lot of them

  20. Gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    You’ve absolutely nothing to apologise for mo chara. Incidentally, I’ve got a wean in my class next session with that name!

  21. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Wits

     

     

    The “new” Black Panthers currently protesting in South Carolina over the “rebel flag” issue.

  22. Macjay

     

     

    Indeed but the horrible abuse he has taken does not equate with the dignity he displayed in his protest.

  23. mickbhoy1888 on

    the exiled tim

     

     

    02:08 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Dearie Me

     

     

     

    There again I don’t have too fork oot muchos travelling expenses too watch the Celtic playing at home

     

     

    Swings and roundabouts old bhoy

  24. M1888

     

     

    Aye, you would be right, I just have to console masel with watchin weans, and a dodgy stream every week, but them’s are the deals for living where I do.

     

     

    If I was offered a freebie every week for leaving here, I honestly wouldn’t have a decision to make, and I reckon you know what it would be.

     

     

    HH

  25. mickbhoy1888 on

    the exiled tim

     

     

    02:08 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Dearie Me

     

     

     

    Ps what do you pay for a farleys rusk squerr sausage a chewy bit of black pudding and a gooey tattie scone washed doon with a pint of Guinness in your Hun free mountain part of the world