Note of caution on potential European opponents


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. Scott leaves his mark on the guy who fouled him earlier


    He doesn’t do friendlies according to commentator.


    Corner Eibar

  2. Pleasant surprise to see the hoops on Premier Sports.


    Thanks for letting me know guys, I didn’t know I had it!!



    Might as well crack open a beer!



    Cheers. Hail Hail



    Cmon the hoops

  3. Cant say I am ever over optimistic about Celtic’s chances in European competition, but always hopeful, if we get beyond Icelanders I don’t think it matters who we get next, it will be a hard tie…. I am even less optimistic when other Scottish clubs go into European competition so Aberdeen are worthy of great credit for victory, but they too still have to finish the job… Truth is we need much more and much better results across the board!!!



    Scottish football has the self-inflicted scares that come with choosing money ahead of competitive football. Celtic and ranger (then) monopolised the league while Aberdeen, hearts, hibs and Dundee united cut each others throats i.e. much of a sameness in terms of size and income, the result 20+ years of failure for these teams!!!



    the league structure needs to be tiered with top clubs, city clubs and community clubs playing each other twice per season but with a competitive edge. Only one solution a league of 16 teams and no not a sevco fan, alright!!! with enough relegation, relegation playoffs, and European playoff to keep the league interesting for all. move the league calendar forward a month and throw in a winter shutdown, people always say but when? personality I would have it from mid December to start of February, always the worst time of the year



    A competitive 16 team league is possible with:



    ………………………………… Champions


    1) Celtic


    ………………………………….Europa 2


    2) Aberdeen


    3) Dundee united


    ………………………………….Europa 2 team play off


    4) hearts


    5) hibs


    …………………………………Mid table


    6) sevco


    7) Dundee


    8) motherwell


    9) Kilmarnock


    10) Falkirk


    …………………………………4 team relegation play offs


    11) ross county


    12) ICT


    13) Partick thistle


    14) St Mirren


    …………………………….. 2 team relegated


    15) St Johnson


    16) Hamilton



    championship of 14 teams including Raith, QoS , Morton, Livingston, Ayr, Dunfermline ect… a few clubs would become yoyo clubs but it = success, failure and drama for their fans.



    a high proportion of relegation playoffs means meaningful games for most midtable teams and euro play off offers inside chance of sneaking into European football



    playing 4 games a season against same opponents is mundane and actually makes derbies less interesting and appealing



    gap in budget between teams at top, middle and bottom assists bigger clubs to win more games and consistency makes for more challenging football environment, more competitive football teams always get more supporters, (Aberdeen last year and the year before, hearts when the challenged closely for the league, rangers (then)) leading to more money, leading to more quality on the pitch, p.s. relegation battles often tend to do the same





  4. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    No15 trying to noise broonie up


    Hope he doesn’t react

  5. Jungle Jim Hot Smoked on



    I was just about to mention Buckie Thistle! When I lived in Eastbourne, I had a mate called Keith so I adopted Buckie simply because I liked the name and we became rival supporters via a Sunday `paper in the pub . That first year, Buckie and Keith were neck and neck so it was a good laugh. When I moved to Arbroath eight years ago, I discovered they played in the hoops and that Celtic had donated their original strips to them.


    Do I win the prize?




  6. Istanbulcelt


    17:15 on


    18 July, 2015


    Saint Stivs



    17:12 on 18 July, 2015



    buckie thistle






    Ah well,



    i’m going back to ma bed…







    for a couple of seasons i sat next to a lovely old guy who came from up around buckie.


    he owned a newsagents, and his dedication to watching celtic would often see him come to big nights, getting home wee small hours, and staying up to open the shop early.



    i would guess he was sixty then, and often brought his grown up daughter,



    he was intensely clever with observations when watching the match. thoughtful, smart, he would point little things out, great company.




    i asked him how he knew so much about football, and he said, well i played in the highland league with buckie.



    at the end of the season he gave me a book, the history of buckie thistle, it was a great wee read, and he featured in in several times, up to that point i didnt even know the fellas name.



    next season he wasnt in the same seat.



    ive never seen him once since,



    and thats how i knew about the strips.

  7. Overseas…,


    Was going to say same and the quality of his distribution from at taking leaf is a big improvement on izzys las few games

  8. When I saw you bhoys were talking about canons being let off, I thought it was armed forces day!

  9. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Wouldn’t it be something if the faithful had as part of a song to say the crowd misses Peter Scarff?



    Lovely piece on him posted.

  10. BT,He’s trying to noise up anyone he can its like he’s trying to get anyone he can carded, thinking he’s took a few bob for the pleasure.

  11. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    He had a go at mulgrew too , we obviously are trying not to get injured but with this clown it could happen

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