Opportunity to put things right


One of the most frustrating elements of the first leg against AEK Athens was that the visitors left Glasgow with an advantage without convincing anyone they were the better team.  Celtic played poorly in many aspects: our passing in the final third was not precise enough and we were shaky at the back for much of the evening, but we know we can play much better.

That result will make AEK supremely confident.  They coped with what we threw at them, scored a goal, and will plan to defend tonight and counter with effect.

If Celtic are to progress into the final qualification round, they will need to be better in possession, and that will require getting things right in central defence.

I’m trying to avoid mentioning our unavailable Belgian friend right now, but with Kristopher Ajer suspended, we will have to perm two from Simunovic, Hendry and Lustig.  The latter can be used with Cristian Gamboa filling in on the right, just as he did when Mikael was rested for the away leg against Rosenborg.  This decision will be the key to our prospects.

Last week we were very left sided.  James Forrest saw little action, but his pace is perfectly suited to the wide-open areas of the former Olympic Stadium in Athens.  Few defenders can live with James’ speed.  He will get down the right, deliver crosses or cut inside to pull defenders out of place.

I don’t think it matters greatly who we play in the striker role, all three candidates are capable of playing at this level, but if his hamstring is safe to play, I would give Moussa 60 minutes.

There are many examples when we have won through after drawing the first leg at home, but this task most feels like the Dynamo Moscow Champions League qualifier in 2009, when we lost 0-1 at home before winning 0-2 away.

Like AEK, Dynamo deserved their result in Glasgow without looking anything special.  Celtic have a straightforward opportunity to put things right.

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  1. Presently persisting of rain in Forres, could maybe do with that in Athens. Starry, Faith being kept but as my dear old mammy used to say “expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed.”



    Unfortunately, I left my IPad in Glasgow and I am currently using my original IPad to post – slow doesn’t cover it! ?




    fredflintstonecsc (some folk think I’m a dinosaur anyway)

  2. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on




    “Take your time, but leave out the barren informationless sweeping generalisations.”



    Yet again you go back to 1994. Unsure of the relevance. It seems that you want to make Celtic’s position now comparative to where we were prior to 1994. That’s a pretty poor method of argument. For example, if elements of the NHS are privatised today, I don’t look back in history and compare the present to the period when we didn’t have the NHS. In that light, even an NHS which is appreciably being gutted/deteriorating is better than what preceded it. That seems to be the argument you lead with.



    As for the comparison to Mourinho. I believe he has already broken the British transfer record and made 3 major signings this summer. He is demanding more. But can you make the argument that Brendan has had a similar summer of progress in the transfer market? There has been scant progression or replacement of players sold- as Brendan has stated on multiple occasions.



    Re your comments on the EBT. Evidently misconstrued my position. It was a rebuttal to your claim we didn’t use EBTs- we did in first instance and quickly desisted. I don’t think our board is worthy of praise for not engaging in criminality. That’s the base level to expect. It’s an indictment on Oldco’s board that they engaged in criminality; it doesn’t follow that our board deserves praise for not doing so.



    And did AC, Inter etc make a comment? No they didn’t as Juventus were suitability punished for the scandal, can the same be said for Oldco?



    Was the Nimmo Smith inquiry in anyway credible? After all, they didn’t even take into consideration the tax liability that Rangers had already admitted guilt to (wee tax case). In addition, “no sporting advantage” was obtained by Oldco for having greater funds at their disposal- that’s novel! Oh and “imperfectly registered players”. Amazing new interpretations of the law and sporting regulations. Oh, and the findings were not even caveated, i.e. the EBTs haven’t been ruled illegal at this point, so Oldco have not acted in contravention of the rules, however, should they be ruled illegal, then Oldco would have been in contravention of the rules.



    So Brendan didn’t turn things around? Whatever way you cut it, that’s just not true. I asked previously but you never provided an answer, but please explain (aside from hiring Brendan), what policies the board have implemented in Brendan’s era that were not in place during Ronny’s era? And the causal link between those policies to our success?



    If you cannot name any, then you must put our success down to Rodgers.




    Haha that’s funny ma Da’ used to say “expect the worst and yer sure tae find it:))”



    I’m away oot tae dae the messages I can’t stand counting down the hours:))




  4. An elevated section of the Italian A10 motorway, which cuts through Genova/Genoa, has collapsed after a torrential downpour.







    Emergency services believe there could be dozens of casualties.



    It’s about an hour’s drive from where I am.

  5. Somehow I prefer us when we have a fightin’ spirit about the camp……..



    I’m always too nervous when it comes to the bhoys, especially in Europe but I travel in hope that we upset the odds and the sleekit huns.


    Scoddland has let the dugs loose on us,………… – a strong, controlled and united front should keep thum at bay…and hopefully we don’t throw thum any more bones!





  6. Weather forecast for Athens this evening @ 8pm (local time) is 29 degs and 35% humidity.



    Could be a lot worse …




  7. PAUL67



    AEK are a good side and overall defensively way ahead of Celtic’s current sieve.



    James Forrest was quiet at CP because he was marked out the game, which fizzled out as soon


    as AEK equalised, and our heads went down.



    Brendan Rodgers ‘A’ game will be required, as AEK will play to stop us scoring, and they have very dangerous players on the break.



    Behindthesofa csc

  8. does anyone know the full extent of Lewis Morgan’s injury , or is it a secret , no updates or cause reported or have i missed something , just seems strange a player plays a full season then comes to us and then goes awol.

  9. Ron67



    I heard it was a longstanding operation that was required and that he wasn’t expected out too long. Been seen in and around the ground walking and talking and signing autographs.



    I expect he’ll be with us in September…

  10. Celtic played poorly in many aspects: our passing in the final third was not precise enough and we were shaky at the back for much of the evening, but we know we can play much better.



    Paul , should that not read , we are always shaky at the back but we must invest to do better.

  11. thanks lads for the LM injury update , just that i saw him from my vantage point at the game last week .

  12. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Don’t know why but I am a bit more optimistic than if we had won 2-1.


    If we had won they would have had to come at us and we would probably fold.


    As it is they will probably sit back and hold their “lead”.


    Can we score? Definitely!


    Can we keep a clean sheet? Possibly not.


    Can we score twice? Probably.


    Remember, as soon as we score the away goals tilts in our favour.


    2-1 Celts aet.

  13. I fear the worst, but hope for the best



    We need to score 2- simple as that. I’ll tak a 2-2 draw.

  14. South Of Tunis on




    Butting in -while on holiday –



    ” Did AC Milan , Lazio ,Inter or the like ?”



    Assuming the like includes Fiorentina and Reggina .



    No -for the simple reason that they were at it too and the relevant courts could(and did ) prove they were at it too . . All were guilty of playing the Italian clientismo game . Rube / Fiat were simply better at it..The bigger the hegemony -the bigger the client base



    A teenage me was once advised by an Italian mate of my father -I paraphrase -” if you want to understand how Italian football works read I Claudius / Claudius The God “. . Methinks, he was right



    Back to the holiday —

  15. Big Nir had an operation in Feb ive just found out. There were many players out around that time.


    Why do so many of our players get injured in training? Cant be a co-incidence.





    Jee-zoh. Down comes the rain,down comes a flyover?



    Condolences to all affected. I hope casualties are kept to a minimum.

  17. One thing I’ve learned from nearly 50 years of following Celtic is we are often at our best when the odds seem to be against us, AEK are a competent side but are far from unbeatable. This will come down to small margins and maybe even a bit of luck. Keep the faith. Turn down the commentary and enjoy being in the worlds top domestic contest. Something others can only dream of.

  18. Wont see the game tonight, but think(hope,Pray):))))) for a 2-1 victory.


    What will be will be CSC







    “Take your time, but leave out the barren informationless sweeping generalisations.”



    Re your comments on the EBT. Evidently misconstrued my position. It was a rebuttal to your claim we didn’t use EBTs- we did in first instance and quickly desisted.



    We never used EBTs, Juninho had one when he arrived but when we realized he was being paid with one it was quickly remedied, HMRC was informed and we settled any outstanding taxes.



    At a time when their use was widespread in football (plenty of clubs settled with the tax man when they received a bill from HMRC) and when it was obvious that the huns were using them to gain an advantage over us we refused to use them. Despite signing players who used the same agents who would be looking for similar treatment to their other clients at other clubs



    Hardly heroic but sensible and commendable

  20. If the first leg had finished 1-0, we may have been in the position of wondering whether to try to keep them out for a 0-0, or whether to go for a sneaky wee away goal and potentially leave ourselves open at the back. At least we know what we need to do. Just beat them. 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 it doesn’t matter. Just score 1 more than them. Or ideally more than that if possible! You can do it Celtic. Believe!

  21. Heading to Timmy’s tonight (for the last time during this holiday) to support the Bhoys.



    If you are out in the Costa Del Sol feel free to join me and all the other Tims there.




  22. “FU” @ 12.46



    You beat me To it.



    Whole situation was manufactured to get him off.


    Too important to English cricket to face real justice.


    The time and effort put into generating a narrative that would get him off.


    Shames the English justice system to the core.



    Yesterday we had SN now we have him.


    If they want you to get off you will get off.

  23. I suspect Rodgers will go with Simunovic and Hendry in central defence this he gave them game time at the weekend.



    I wouldn’t start Sinclair, he has done nothing in the last 12 months to warrant starting such a big game.



    Our passing in their half needs to be much quicker than it was for most of the game at CP. If we move the ball fast and find the runs as we did for the first thirty mins at CP then we will score and create opportunities.



    As ever our defence is the worry. More than likely that’s what will be our undoing tonight.

  24. I heard it was a longstanding operation that was required for lewis morgan , if we knew about this should this not have been carried way back early doors ,as he was on loan from us last Jan why wait until season starts .

  25. The treatment table doesn’t shrink to suit inferior players.


    Who says there’s no growth at Parkhead.



    However, a win tonight and we’ll all be saying ” Problems, what problems ”




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