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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. Thon number 15 needs a good boot in the, whole of the Celtic team fouled by him now

  2. Nye Bevans' rebel soldier on

    Was watching the game on a dodgy stream and reading

     

    cqn on my phone,turns oot I’ve got 551 on my telly.

     

     

    fcukwitthatiamcsc.

  3. Armstrong wasted when wide.

     

    We lack creativity in middle.

     

    When Stuart is so close to touch line his options are limited.

     

    Put him in centre

  4. Cheers, BT. Great spot re Premier Sports.

     

     

    What a pleasant surprise, seeing the Bhoys when not expecting to.

     

     

    ‘Mon The Mighty Hoops!

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Nye bevins

     

    That why I posted it early to give you bhoys a chance to check it out

  6. embramike says "the Huns are Deid" on

    VvD almost touched Mulgrew’s free kick in from a few yards out

  7. Istanbulcelt on

    Jungle Jim Hot Smoked, Saint Stivs

     

     

    Two great stories, who would have thought that little old Buckie could grab someones interest.

     

     

    I have seen them a couple of times. They were the away team against Inverness Caley before the merger.

     

     

    Oh, JJ hot smoke, your prize will be behind the bar at the annual Buckie Thistle Dinner & Dance. :-)))

  8. Virgil should have scored from good Mulgrew free kick

     

    We are still not in sync in last third.

     

    Penalty Eibar

  9. Pen Eibar.

     

     

    Saved big Bailly!

     

     

    Low to his left hand side.

     

     

    Commentator wants a retake for encroachment.

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