International players will begin returning to Bayern Munich’s training facility today. Many will undergo their first session under new manager Jupp Heynckes. Five points off the pace domestically, they face Freiburg on Saturday before the visit of Celtic one week today.
Freiburg are above the relegation play-off spot on goal difference only, largely as a consequence of settling in for a draw. They have lost only two of their seven games. On Saturday, Celtic scouts will likely learn how Bayern play against a packed defence.
If the result in Brussels afforded Brendan Rodgers some Champions League freedom, Heynckes is under pressure to win both games this coming week. This is far from impossible (they are Bayern Munich, after all), but the new manager will be working blind, having little or no time on the training field with his players, talented though they are.
I’m feeling unusually chilled about the game in Munich. We will rest those who need it on Saturday, then travel with the rare ‘nothing to lose’ phenomenon, so scarce for Celtic teams. The contrast for the Germans could not be greater; a loss to Celtic would be cataclysmic. We should enjoy this.
National Famine Day Memorial match-worn shirt
Many thanks to all who entered the raffle for James Forrest’s match-worn shirt, commemorating the Great Hunger, which followed the Blight which passed through much of Europe in the 1840s before hitting Ireland. A million died there, millions more emigrated, some to Scotland. A few of these new communities here setup football teams in Edinburgh, Dundee and then Glasgow.
Is this an important part of the Celtic story? I think so. Its consequences inform our values today.
You can enter the raffle by making a minimum £5 donation to Celtic FC Foundation here. The money will continue the great work carried out in your name. And you might win a signed, match-worn, Famine Memorial shirt.
What a great thing to do.
To enter, send your donation confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the PSG player who was booked for diving against Celtic last month in the SUBJECT line.