Brendan Rodgers would have opened his hotel curtains this morning and welcomed the sight of a cool, wet, day in Astana. Far from the 30° he feared, it’s to be 17° by kick-off, having rained most of the day. That rainwater will help hold the ball up on the plastic surface at the Astana Arena where Celtic play their Champions League qualifier this afternoon.
Astana must be wondering if the clouds are conspiring against them. This is the coolest day of the month there, well below the 31° heat in the city two weeks ago. As any runner unaccustomed to such conditions will tell you, temperature differences like this have a huge impact on performance.
We can be pretty sure Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig and Saidy Janko will play, but in what formation and who will join them at the back is open to conjecture. What we can be more certain of is that we’ll pull defenders tight together, with Scott Brown playing the kind of defensive-mid role he produced a year ago in Qarabag.
A great deal of responsibility will lie with Leigh Griffiths. He’ll have space to receive the ball from Roberts and (probably) Forrest. At 25, he’s entering his peak years and is more than capable of winning this tie on his own.
Take a deep breath………..
Directors’ Box auction prize
Courtesy of Celtic sponsor and all round good guys, Intelligent Car Leasing, we have an outstanding auction prize, as the centrepiece of our summer good causes. For the Kilmarnock game at Celtic Park, on 24 September 2016, you can win:
2 seats in the directors’ box
5 course meal in the Walfrid Suite
Fully expenses bar (pre and post-match)
Half time snacks and refreshments
And a match programme.
There are experiences in life which money can’t buy. This one is now available for you to bid for here on ebay until Friday lunchtime. Two of you, directors’ box, Champagne reception, 5 course meal, free bar, get in there – and tell your pals about it.
Monies raised will go towards our fifth (yes fifth) school kitchen for Mary’s Meals, and our other good causes in connection with Friday’s CQN Golf Day.
And thanks to Intelligent Car Finance. We’re fortunate to have people like this around us.