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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. jfh,

     

    Think that would be unfair, the bhoy might have had a stinker but the penalty thing was IMO down to adrenalin and I’ve no problem with players wanting to take everything.

  2. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Canamalar……..if the top tier in Scotland is enlarged then

     

    the game is over, we should go back to 10,the SPL came

     

    into creation in a bid to break the dominance of the big 2,

     

    it was working, Aberdeen and Dundee Utd won title’s.

     

     

    The problem for the smsm was that the team that sells all

     

    the papers was shit, the Sunday Mail ran a headline” whats

     

    wrong with Rangers” the beast arrived at Ibrox, the madness

     

    began, young Scottish talent was stifled.

     

     

    Back in the day Scotland qualified for finals,Celtic are not

     

    blameless in what occurred,it drove us to the edge of extinction,

     

    it killed Rangers 1872

  3. Paul 67

     

     

    “Baku, where Azerbaijani club Qarabag reside, is not as far west as Astana, where Celtic played two years ago,”

     

     

    Yes it is. Baku is actually a long way west of Astana – which lies on the other side of the Caspian Sea (and beyond).

     

     

    Second deliberate mistake??

  4. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    prestonpans bhoys……hope yer having a ball,see you

     

    on flag day.

  5. prestonpans bhoys on

    Tictaewin

     

     

    Also encountered a hun who thought they were in good financial grounds with the liar in command. Decided that (a) he was at the pish or (b) thick. Concluded both after 5 min chat he was both :-)

  6. nye bevan…,

     

    With the secret 5way stuff I’m suspicious similar is being lined up which of made public could have supporters dissent at least aired before they think they can get away with it as a fait acompli.

  7. Saint Stivs

     

    15:56 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

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

     

     

    ps.

     

     

    Why not.

     

    After all English satellites such as Scotland and Norn Ireland ad Wales along with former British colony Eire are allowed to compete?

     

     

    Just saying.

  8. Stairheedrammy on

    Se7en, I met him once. I’m sure he did the big sculpture that sat outside the Special Unit in Barlinnie. I don’t remember a book though. Boyle was there at the same time.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Canalamar. I dont think it would have anything to do with having a poor game that happens to every player now and again.I think it would be for indiscipline over the penalty he would know full well who the penalty taker was and it was not him.I think Joe Hanson would certainly have made the penalty taking more tense than it needed to be and Joe did not show any team spirit or togetherness with his team mate Griffiths. H.H.

  10. quonno

     

    16:46 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

    Saint Stivs

     

    15:56 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

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

     

     

    ps.

     

     

    Why not.

     

    After all English satellites such as Scotland and Norn Ireland ad Wales along with former British colony Eire are allowed to compete?

     

     

    Just saying.

     

     

    ——————–

     

     

    simply geography, these places are not in europe.

  11. canamalar

     

    who knows what is being thought up behind closed doors, I seem to remember PL saying that he woulld not accept the placing of teams in higher leagues and it had to be on merit through gaining promotion, if this is to be change I hope he sees this for what it is and oppose it.

  12. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Canamalar……I hope yer suspicions are wide of the

     

    mark,if not the games done and there will be hell to pay,

     

    even mugs like me who just turn up and watch Celtic

     

    will rebel……ole jungle bhoy style!!!!

  13. jFH,

     

    I was thinking it was all part of the same problem, his head was not in the right place, a quiet word and encouragement would have a better effect but don’t see how dropping him for a friendly will drive any message home.

     

    I’m just hoping he is not injured, regardless of his last performance he is and would be one of the first names on my team sheet.

     

     

    COYBIG

  14. Saint Stivs

     

    16:51 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

     

    First off. Since they departed from knock out format EUFA competitions have been a farce.

     

     

    However non European geographic oddities such as Israel have been competing for yonks.

     

    No point complaining when Celtic draw the apparently short straw.

  15. Cathedral View on

    blantyretim is praying for the knox family

     

     

    16:39 on 18 July, 2015

     

    Premier sport on Virgin channel 551

     

     

    —————————————

     

     

    Nice one.

     

     

    A channel I didn’t even know I had and it’s showing the game.

     

     

    cv

  16. dessybhoy,

     

    And we are still awaiting comment on them being placed in the professional set up before clubs that actually qualified.

  17. one interesting comment on shortbread was that there is a possibility aberdeen will play thier next leg on the thursday night, in a time zone that is SIX HOURS ahead, then will travel back the day after to go straight to tannadice,

     

     

    its just ridiculous.

     

     

    BT,

     

    brilliant catch bud, got in on the big telly now.

     

    some right handsome celtic supporters there.

  18. prestonpans bhoys on

    Nye Bevan

     

    Will see you then, 7 pm here restaurant open for food and drink :-)

  19. quonno

     

    16:56 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

    Saint Stivs

     

    16:51 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

     

    i am complaining not because celtic get the short straw.

     

    i am complaining that the competitions in general have no benefit in including these far flung countries.

     

     

    its farcical.

  20. you can forget about that mate, they merged the leagues as well a supposed one body running the leagues, wonder who that suited after the LNS judgement came out and its narrow remit in the first place.

  21. CELTIC goalie Logan Bailly will make his debut for the Hoops in their friendly against SD Eibar tonight (Saturday) as the Bhoys help the La Liga side celebrate their 75th anniversary in the Basque Country.

     

    The Belgian shot-stopper joined the Celts earlier this month and will make his first appearance as part of a strong starting XI at the Ipurua, Municipal Stadium.

     

     

    Leigh Griffiths will lead the line up front, backed up by Nadir Ciftci in the No.10 role, and Dedryck Boyata will partner Virgil van Dijk in defence.

     

    Kick-off is 5pm Celtic Park time and there will be pre-match build-up and live updates from the official Celtic Twitter account, @Celticfc

     

    CELTIC v SD Eibar: Bailly; Fisher, Boyata, van Dijk, Mulgrew; Brown, Bitton; Forrest, Ciftci, Armstrong; Griffiths

     

    Celtic subs: Fasan, Stokes, Lindsay, Tierney, Izaguirre, Janko, Scepovic, Rogic

  22. The boys out there have an unusual pre match routine, soldiers & cannons ah shure we have the huddle.

  23. thats nice the basque nationalists celebrating the scots nationalists, buy letting off a cannon and waving the saltire ……

     

     

    lights touch paper,

     

     

     

    and stands back …………

  24. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked

     

    14:20 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

    MurdochauldandHay & Wee Oscar

     

    Is that rumour likely to have any substance?

     

     

    JJ

     

     

    ————————————————————–

     

     

     

    JJ What Auldheid said earlier is just about all I know I had seen it on twitter earlier

  25. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    Firing all these guns on the Eibar pitch pre match – not against cannon law ??

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