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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. MurdochauldandHay & Wee Oscar

     

    17:06 on

     

    18 July, 2015

     

    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.

     

     

    whats the rumour ?

  2. Istanbulcelt on

    Ok people, after that nice story about Barca strips being lent to Eibar , so they now play in those colours. Which Scottish team play in green and white hoops because they were given strips and balls from Celtic in the early 1900’s?

  3. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Starry

     

    Premier sports showing it on Virgin 551

     

    Sky you need to pay £10 for 2 month

  4. Some of the flats on the far side could be selling executive box tickets.

     

    Football and tapas anyone?

  5. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    Citric should have scored from header 8 yards out — good cross from Griffiths

  6. Istanbulcelt on

    Saint Stivs

     

     

    17:12 on 18 July, 2015

     

     

    buckie thistle

     

     

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

     

    Ah well,

     

     

    i’m going back to ma bed…

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