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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. Goodness me, this running lark has inspired more feedback than I have ever had on here! Thanks for all the support I need it. I almost did have a pew to myself, chosen deliberately in case I cramped up and had to lie on the kneelers in agony.

  2. sipsini.

     

    Your link didnae work? Probably a decent piss take as well.

     

    gerryfaethebrig

     

    Don’t worry it will be enjoyed

     

     

    almore and charles kickham

     

    Very good…I admire my self restraint at times but today I will be letting it go a wee bit.

  3. Lionroars67 @ 10.02

     

     

    I did. Made me feel flippant for getting up early to make a curry for later on.

     

     

    Jimbo67

  4. An interesting read…….certainly more informative than the tabloids

     

     

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v10/n16/paul-foot/the-great-times-they-could-have-had

     

     

    A great many books and articles have been published recently about the possibility that a former head of MI5 was the agent of a foreign power. Could there be anything more horrible, more unthinkable? Well, yes, according to Charles Higham’s extraordinary biography, there could. He suggests that not long ago the most dangerous agent of a foreign power was the King; and the second most dangerous was the King’s lover. Both were sympathetic to, and possibly active agents for, Mussolini and Hitler at a time when the British Government was about to declare war on Italy and Germany.

     

     

    Mr Higham’s book has been greeted with a tremendous shout of fury. ‘Universally slated’ was how Sidgwick and Jackson described its reception to me. It has been passed over for serialisation. Film rights, once assured, are now in jeopardy. Writing in the Spectator, Frances Donaldson, modestly omitting to refer to her own worthy, if rather pedestrian biography of Edward VIII, could not contain her indignation. ‘Nor am I alone in thinking it rather shocking,’ she boomed, ‘that Mr Higham was able to find a reputable British publisher for his book.’

  5. lennon's passion on

    Out all day yesterday never seen any of the game any links to the goals. How did the Cifti/ Griffiths work out ?

  6. gerryfaethebrig

     

     

    10:43 on 19 July, 2015

     

    Struthesque words ??????

     

     

    Monaghan much obliged for your persistence in making me laugh, anyway folks have a good Sunday I am away to give the bookies some cash betting on the golf

     

     

    HT – film4 at 9pm tonight hope you don’t model yourself on that Cameron Diaz

     

     

    ———

     

     

    Cos if he dos this is what it would look like!!!!

     

     

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YQ643U7ccpM

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  7. OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 19

     

    Theirry Henry receives a bigger annual salary from Sky (£4m) than the winners of the Scottish Premiership receive from the TV deal (£2.5m).

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    If Sky’s TV football deal was based on population and percentage of subscribers, the Scottish Premiership would get £500m instead of £70m.

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    It is estimated that around 550,000 of the 1+ million subscribers to Sky in Scotland, have the Sky Sports package.

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    Sky have over 10 million subscribers in the United Kingdom, of which over 1 million are in Scotland. Exact same ratio to country population.

  8. TBJ says Wee Oscar Knox is in heaven with the angels on

    Mark martin luther king warburton – best thing since sliced bread

  9. bournesouprecipe on

    Enjoyed the game yesterday and thought Celtic against decent opposition are improving with each game, even although La Laga’s Eibar finished the season with fewer signed players than Sevco.

     

     

    RD used the game as practise, with a strong selection and Wednesday in mind and if Nadir Ciftci has done anything it’s galvanise Leigh Griffiths .Celtic struggled on the left with Charlie Mulgrew not capable playing the Izzaguire game, and if he ever has to plug the left back role, it’ll be a different way.

     

     

    Dedryk Boyata had another fine match and Darnell Fisher proved a more mobile deputy for Lustig, who it’s assumed is resting to be fit for Wednesday. Saidy Janko looked good with his first touches in the Hoops and Logan Baily made agood debut.

     

     

    Virgil Van dijk’s return to the centre of defence was a sight worth waiting for and his long pass for the fourth goal was Beckenbaueresque. Celtic need to have a look around transfer city, and set his asking price according to his ability, and not the silly cliché that he only ‘plays in the SPL.’

     

     

    It has come time for Celtic to up the anti on price following bargains in McGeady Wanyama, Forster, with Groningen waiting on their sell on windfall Celtic should start the bidding at around £15 million and see how we get on.

     

     

    After all, we are told we don’t need to sell – do we?

  10. BMCUWP

     

     

    As family members have just invited themselves over to ‘ watch the golf’ ( despite owning bigger tellies than I) you might have to bring yer own!

     

     

    Jimbo67

  11. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela!

     

     

     

    Hahahahahahahhahahahahhahhahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahhahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahaha

     

    :-)

     

     

    Truth, Freedom and the Sevco way!

     

    Just brilliant.

     

    I’ll miss them when it dawns on them they are a sporting irrelivance.

     

     

    Back to the pool, it’s hot here.

  12. Good feature on Duffy’s Cut and the 19C version of society and econony churning up people’s lives.

     

     

    Reburial of woman in native Ireland highlights 183-year-old murder mystery http://gu.com/p/4anb6/stw

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  13. Wow Andrew Neil snarling away at Jeremy Corben like one on Monaghan FF posters, appalling interviewer, its all about Neil and his political views………….Hun

  14. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    JIMBO67

     

     

    Some host,you!

     

     

    Bring-your-own usually refers to the booze,not the grub!

     

     

    Ah well,down to the pub for some crisps then…

  15. BSR

     

     

    Virgil Van dijk’s return to the centre of defence was a sight worth waiting for and his long pass for the fourth goal was Beckenbaueresque. Celtic need to have a look around transfer city, and set his asking price according to his ability, and not the silly cliché that he only ‘plays in the SPL.’

     

     

    ——–

     

     

    Couldn’t agree more mhate.

     

    Said to a fellow cqn-er on Friday he’s the most skilful defender I’ve ever seen in the Hoops.

     

    He could play at the very top.

     

    And we should be looking for something c£20m if ( sadly when…) he goes.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  16. BSR and Jamesgang.

     

    Hurray.

     

    Big Van D. Is the man.

     

    My player of the year last season, by a long way, some people on last night saying we would only get 5 million for him. Hmmmm not sure they were Celtic fans.

  17. bournesouprecipe on

    jamesgang

     

     

    The trend where the EPL only pay exhorbitant prices sometimes for inferior players simply because they have played for another EPL side, or come from abroad, needs to be challenged , VVD’s ‘imminent sale’ is the case in perspective.

     

     

    The much criticised ‘Celtic board ‘ mustn’t sell too cheaply, and should dispel this SPL excuse, and emphasise VVD’s ability along with his european and international credentials.

     

     

    Each time Celtic sell a gem we smash the Scottish transfer record, but you don’t hear about that in SMSM when and if VVD goes Celtic should demand a fairer share of what is our money, denied by Sky etc.

  18. Actually there is one obvious team the Sevconians must absolutely fear: their own boardroom team.

     

    To date, they are by far the most successful team at inflicting damage to Sevco.

  19. lionroars67

     

     

     

    11:47 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

     

    Wow Andrew Neil snarling away at Jeremy Corben like one on Monaghan FF posters, appalling interviewer, its all about Neil and his political views………….Hun

     

    ———————————————–

     

    Saw that. I thought it was a bit on an attack and uneven in comparison to how he treated the others.

     

    Corben would be an interesting choice, though don’t think he’s really got a chance.

     

     

    Is the team travelling home before heading to Iceland? Sees a bit strange that we limit the preseason travel, then fly to Spain a couple of days before flying to Iceland.

  20. teuchter ár lá

     

     

    Interesting question!

     

    I think bsr’s point about how EPL clubs and Scottish msm try to suppress the value of celtic players is an important one.

     

     

    ‘Only plays in the spl’ isn’t the only point, though they try hard to make it so. Plenty of EPL clubs have paid stupid money for players from smaller euro leagues.

     

     

    HH jamesgang

  21. bournesouprecipe on

    Jimmynotpaul

     

     

    See reply to Jamesgang

     

     

    SMSM like to set low figures when the big Celtic sales come around – they were wrong in all cases.

     

     

    Celtic intimated VVD would be around for the CL qualifiers and so far they have beaten the Celtic naysayers, again. When the time comes they should go one further with achieving the correct fee for VVD, who is arguably the best of the best CB’s to play in the modern era.

  22. lionroars67

     

     

    11:31 on 19 July, 2015

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 19

     

    Theirry Henry receives a bigger annual salary from Sky (£4m) than the winners of the Scottish Premiership receive from the TV deal (£2.5m).

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    If Sky’s TV football deal was based on population and percentage of subscribers, the Scottish Premiership would get £500m instead of £70m.

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    It is estimated that around 550,000 of the 1+ million subscribers to Sky in Scotland, have the Sky Sports package.

     

     

    OptaCeltic ‏@OptaCeltic Feb 10

     

    Sky have over 10 million subscribers in the United Kingdom, of which over 1 million are in Scotland. Exact same ratio to country population.

     

     

    ———————-

     

     

    And next season the team that finishes bottom of the EPL gets £100m with teams who’s games are televised live getting £10m per game.

     

     

    The TV rights money for La LigueA and Bundesliegue (sic) combined does not beat the EPL deal.

     

     

    Puts the CL ‘windfall’ into perspective and any transfer sales by our club to the EPL should be heavily weighted to take into account the rewards currently being enjoyed by the EPL members.

  23. Macjay:

     

     

    I hope to God you just watched what I just watched, Channel 9’s 60 Minutes.

     

     

    If true, and I believe it is true, even Tory MP’s of today say the evidence is compelling, that senior British establishment names engaged, over decades, in organised paedophilia.

     

     

    That was Australian TV calling them out.

     

     

    I hope to God you saw it.

     

     

    While the allegations against at least 10 current and former MPs and subsequent cover-ups are so explosive that it eventually led to a British parliamentary inquiry, Mr Coulthart says it should be front page news almost every day, yet he says it isn’t.

     

     

    “I have been gobsmacked that this has not been a front page daily news scandal,” Mr Coutlhart said. “One of the reasons why we decided to do this story was because we couldn’t believe that so much of the English media wasn’t. I think to a large degree a large percentage of the British media has been complicit in covering it up.

     

     

    “There’s been stories we’ve been told about of stories being pulled from the media. It is the very worst tradition of British establishment political corruption. The institutions of state have been corrupted in order to protect the rich and powerful.”

     

     

    The 60 Minutes team also speak to the driver to the Australian High Commissioner, who they say could hold the key to blowing this case wide open.

     

     

    “The people who are implicated are not just former members of parliament and public servants, they are people that have been named to us that are still in government who are still in public service and in very powerful positions,” Mr Coulthart explained. “And the question has to be asked, are they being protected? And I suspect there are.

     

     

    “It’s very confronting.”

  24. Monaghan1900

     

     

    10:17 on 19 July, 2015

     

     

    The Warbler is one of them:

     

    “Mark Warburton, our Mandela.”

     

    ——

     

    “I’d go further than Mandela, in many ways he’s Mark ‘Martin Luther King’ Warburton.”

     

     

    ==========================================

     

     

    Aaaaah-hahahahahahahahahahahaaa…

     

     

    Aaaah-hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaa….

     

     

    Aaaah-h….

  25. Macjay:

     

     

    And it didn’t just accuse establishment paedophilia, it accused establishment murder of children. I hope you saw it. Sick as it was I hope you saw it, so you can feel as sick as I do.

  26. Watching the golf.

     

     

    The weather’s picked up.

     

     

    It’s now pishing doon.

     

     

    HH!!

  27. I posted last night tongue-in-cheek about getting another £3 mill for VVd on top of £20 mill after his pass yesterday.

     

     

    on refelction, seeing the figures banded about this morning, we SHOULD be asking £20 mill for him – those bloated EPL leviathans need to cough up.

     

     

    Just note their austere purchases outwith the EPL compared to the incestuous exchanges of cash between EPl members – currently looking at £49 M for Sterling between Citeh-Liverpool, £20 M on offer for young Stones between Chelski-Everton, £32 M for Benteke Liv-villa, Delph Villa-Citeh, Schneiderlin (sp) Southanpton-Man U etc, etc.

     

     

    MAKE THEM PAY UP!

  28. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on

    Kitalba

     

    Whilst not wishing to join the debate, I thought your 8:55 post was very well expressed.

     

     

    JJ

  29. Kit…,

     

    Masonic control methods, compromising situations, and macjay will be right on song, he’ll probably hit you with one of his auld favourites when dodging questions ad hominem but he can’t use that on you so he’ll fall back on his only other out, refuse to answer or question the source, however in this case there has been evidence being covered up and removed from investigations for a very very long time. Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has been demanding answers for about ten years.

  30. Sandman

     

    I think i heard this morning a young player from was it Fulham 2 full games £ 11 m being banded about.