Rundown of possible opponents


Austria Wien have played three league games this season, won one, drew one, lost one.  Scored six conceded eight.  Stuffed 5-1 by Salzburg two weeks ago.  They have only had to play one round of Champions League qualifiers so far, which they won 1-0 on aggregate against the Icelandic champions-cum-day-job-professionals. Send them over, please, Uefa.

Ludogorets Razgrad, from Bulgaria, knocked Dinamo Zagreb out of the Champions League qualifiers last season before going down to Slovan Bratislava in the play-off round.  They’ve won two, lost one, of their three league games this season.  Beat Partizan Belgrade home and away in last round, beat Slovan Bratislava on aggregate in round before that. They also have to play their home game for the next round at an alternate venue to due to a date clash with a concert. Happy to take this lot.

Legia Warsaw, won all three league games this season, scoring 12, conceding one.  Eliminated Molde, after drawing both games, in last round, took care of The New Saints (Wales) home and away in earlier round. Would be a great European tie though not sure if Zbyszek can arrange the result for us.

Maribor, from Slovenia, have won all three league games this season, scored 11, conceded two.  Eliminated APOEL Nicosia after two draws in last round.  APOEL got to the last eight of the Champions League in 2012, so this team are no pushover. Maribor also have the distinction of being the last team to knock Rangers out of Europe. Ever!

Shakhtyor Karaganda, 12 points off the pace after 22 games in Kazakhstan.  Beat Albanians, Korce, in last round and Bate Borisov (who recorded Champions League wins against Bayern Munich and Lille in 2012) in the earlier round.  The travel would be an issue; Karaganda is farther east that eastern Afghanistan. If I can paraphrase an Ibrox legend, define Europe. The fact they are midseason and, like Celtic, they’ve won through two rounds already, makes this a less attractive tie, but they are surely not a Champions League team.

Preferences: Shakhtyor Karaganda are the easiest possible opponents but a trip to Austria or Bulgaria would be best.

Would rather avoid: Legia will be the most difficult draw. Maribor will be a similar challenge as Elfsborg.

Lots more to blog about: last night’s performance, Kelvin, Honest Dave King… maybe later.
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  1. Steinreignedsupreme on

    traditionalist88 12:28 on 8 August, 2013


    ‘CELTIC’S UEFA Champions League aspirations are alive and kicking after Neil Lennon´s men secured the result needed in Sweden last night to progress to the play-off round later this month.



    Every Celtic supporter´s voice will be called upon to provide the thunder at Paradise that will propel the Bhoys to a group stage berth for the second successive season’







    “You don’t need me to highlight the stench of hypocrisy in that second paragraph.”



    Erm … I think you may have to point it out.

  2. Josimar is Neil Lennon on

    bom dia rio.



    yes, nice to see the pics on view.


    only 4 months ago but seems a lifetime



    counting the days (or years) till i make it back!






  3. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    Spent my early life in a musical family,being told what was ” good ” music.


    ie Classical.


    Brian Wison gave us ,imho,some crackers and had that amazing ,and unusual, quality of modesty and self deprecation.


    Some of Jagger and Richards lines in that Twice as Much song just symbolise the times.


    Great to share musical thoughts and opinions.



  4. Paul67



    I have to disagree on Shakhtyor Karaganda. The whole club is operating just now for one thing only. CL!



    They even lost a league game and played a different formation prior to Borisov game to fool them.



    Not for me, I will take the Austrians any day.

  5. I was reflecting on my run in with Paul last night.



    In particular why I feel so angry about Celtic and some of the posters on this site. I think there are a couple of things that, on reflection, are bigger issues and this site is merely a reflection of them.



    Firstly contempt for the celtic support unless they simply accept their role are turnstyle fodder.



    It was interesting that Paul rounded on me last night for calling people names. It is of course childish and simply wrong. So no excuses in that respect. But whats interesting is that those who criticise our Board on this site are subject to a litany of name calling. Indeed the favourite is being called a hun. Probably the highlight of this came when one poster went so far to say as we are huns but we just dont have the intelligence to know it and we are pretending to ourselves.



    It is interesting that this regular vulgarity and innanity is spouted to those of us who dare question the cosy consensus but goes unchallenged by our host.



    How does this relate to wider matters? Well as we witness the culmination of a media/police/political and celtic led campaign to criminalise the celtic support in general and the Green Brigade in particular the message remains the same.



    Comply with what we want, pay your money and say what we want you to say or else we will beat you into submission. Double standards abound from our Board in particular. Lateral movement is absolutely not acceptable but mass and open corruption is fine as long as it is ultimately good for business.



    Secondly a mass compacency and the desire to brainwash us into acceptance of, dare I say it, FACTS.



    FACTS as we know are convenient excuses used by others to justify the unjustifiable. The hun are prone to using FACTS to justify things like their previous signing policy (for example by stating the FACT that a catholic did play for them before their change of policy – ignoring other information such as the player in question having to pretend they were not a catholic). Anyway many on this site use FACTS in the same way.



    Some of the more recent examples, in an effort to portray Celtic as in a financial ruinious position (despite the near £50M cash boost we have recently had), are risible. Harking back to 2003, selecting certain figures to illustrate how down we are on last season (while ignoring the income we have had). Add this to a determined belief that the goal of celtic should now change to become a savings institution seems to be the way forward here.



    Interestingly Celtic take the same approach. A proposed philosopy on buying in talent and hoping they succeed and selling high is what we all recognise. It is hard to argue with it but in fact it is a gamble of latent talent. But the Board of course tell us they dont gamble. They would never speculate to accumulate. Additionally we have been told our approach is to spend every penny we make on the team. Well I dont think any fairminded individual would say that is happenning right now. We are told the club respect supporters and only have their best interests in mind and that the club is open and transparent. Well try telling that to supporters whose details have been given to the police and when the club dont provide evidence of exactly who was forcing their hand on section 111 and why.



    So in many ways what we see on this site and with Celtic is the same and can be boiled down as an intolerance and witchhunt of dissenting and questionning voices while showing double standards throughout.



    Those of you who are always so willing to say spending a penny will lead us down the same road as the huns take care. Because wasnt the real problem down Ibrox way that they ensuring that no questionning voices be heard or welcome?




  6. kikinthenakas on

    Barry Bannan…..not a chance….poor mans Brian McLaughlin or Ross Wallace for the younger team….



    Cheeky bid for Defoe on loan….




  7. Must say I fancied getting Kevin Doyle but after reading Finbogasson’s stats from a post on last night’s blog I was highly impressed. The lad seemingly lived in Scotland for a while, is only 24 years of age and scoring at club and International level. he looks a bargain buy at 4 mil which we paid for Scott Brown and his Dutch club need the money. I presume we’ve already earned a tidy sum from the qualifiers and have already qualified for Europe, why not go for the lad?

  8. The situation with the Green Brigade and others in Section 111 is unfortunate and I hope it can be resolved to both sides satisfaction. However I want to remind everyone that 190 seats broken in 4 games in one section of the ground is completely unacceptable. By my reckoning that equates to 1000 seats a season. If the seats are not being broken by Green Brigade members then those responsible should be identified and reported to the numerous stewards/Police around the Green Brigade, give them something useful to do.



    Before anyone starts talking about “not being a grass” this is the real world not the school playground. If you saw a guy entering your neighbours house at 2.00am through a window would it be “grassing” to call the police?



    One other strange part of this is that the Green Brigade, and its individual members, have been subject to some disgraceful treatment by Strathclyde police/Focus but I have yet to see a statement from them that they are taking legal advice into pursuing a Civil case for Harassment, Malicious Prosecution or something similar. Celtic, after numerous well publicised warnings concerning behaviour, finaly act, heavy handedly maybe, and the Green Brigade immediately talk about “legal advice”.



    I have no axe to grind with the Green Brigade. I believe they bring great credit on Celtic and have been demonised to suit the political agenda of others, not Celtic I hasten to add, but if they cannot or will not abide by the rules then they only have themselves to blame.



    Again I want to stress I hope the Green Brigade and Celtic come to a solution but both sides will have to show leadership and be prepared to compromise.

  9. South Of Tunis on

    Maribor .



    Watched them v Serie A teams in the Europa League.



    Palermo beat them in Slovenia .


    Maribor beat Palermo in Sicily .



    Lazio humped them in Slovenia .


    Lazio beat them in Rome..



    A section of their support [ The Black Gringos ] were involved in pre arranged violence in Palermo and Rome.

  10. oglach




    12:51 on 8 August, 2013




    johann murdoch


    12:40 on


    8 August, 2013


    Just had a wee look at the world map..Eastern Kazakstan borders china and Mongolia…






    Europe my erchie!




    Its a bit like Turkey – just a wee bit of it in Europe although that is considerably more than Israel has yet their teams get to play in the CL just don’t figure!






    This is why when people say we should play in the EPL i just roll my eyes.

  11. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Hankray 13:24 on 8 August, 2013



    after reading Finbogasson’s stats from a post on last night’s blog I was highly impressed.




    A striker who grew up watching Henrik Larsson and been coached by Marco Van Basten? No-brainer for me.

  12. Europe is and has always been more defined political then geographically, particularily on it’s eastern fringes.

  13. Neganon2



    well said …fear i`ll be in the minority tho`



    why some of our fans have become so obsessed with saving money is beyond me



    last nights “effort” is a prime example of what parsimony brings




  14. twists n turns on



    we are being pushed towards believing that participation in the CL every season will see us break even.



    Celtic’s powerbrokers no longer see the big picture as playing attractive football and entertaining the crowd, they see it as a financial game pure and simple.



    If you promote the speculate to accumulate view you are seen as asking for the board to overspend and put the future of the club at risk. Nonsense. Reasoned investments can be made in an effort to attain football glory which runs beyond winning a one horse race in the domestic league.



    You’ll never convince a lot of people, but if the current strategy continues I genuinely believe Celtic will be playing to a half empty stadium within 2 -3 years.



    Many fans will simply adopt the same strategy, i.e. won’t buy a season ticket, but will wait to see if we qualify for Europe and buy a 3 match package.

  15. !!Bada Bing!! on

    hankray-fag packet maths-£2.5 mil for Wilson + probable sell out in CLQ 3 = Finbogasson,easy this eh :)

  16. Paul67



    Can we get through with the squad we have, or will have?


    Or do we need to spend real money and fill the known gaps in the squad?



    For the record we were a bag of nerves last night — fans and team together.


    The Swedes were very poor and that lack of quality saved us.



    MB was a man on a mission / point to prove.


    How much did we pay for him?


    How much did we pay for AM?


    Do we now add JR to the SF “what might have been / PL you are a numpty” list?

  17. cliftonville celt from belfast on




    Well said and how very true – see across the city to those who dare not to question



    Only things I’ll say on the GB issue



    They bring a lot to the club in term of atmosphere


    They are entitled to their opinion


    They have been let down by the club


    They are great craic



    BUT !!!



    They have been foolish to ignore the warnings


    They thought they were too important to remove


    They have shown that they are unable to police themselves and deal with clowns who want to be associated with them


    They need to sit down with the club and sort his out for the good of the club that they say they love more than anything



    The clubs well being is above everything and no-one or nothing is bigger than the club



    Off to work now have been looking for the zombies to have another ‘event’ all day ffs !!!!


    Its coming

  18. Kilbowie Kelt on




    13:23 on 8 August, 2013



    ……………….It was interesting that Paul rounded on me last night for calling people names. It is of course childish and simply wrong. So no excuses in that respect. But whats interesting is that those who criticise our Board on this site are subject to a litany of name calling. Indeed the favourite is being called a hun….


    …….. Probably the highlight of this came when one poster went so far to say as we are huns but we just dont have the intelligence to know it and we are pretending to ourselves.





    No names. ..No packdrill..





    Slight misquotation, Neganon, but amusing nonetheless.


    It would appear that my innocent observation found a target.



    Good luck.

  19. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



    13:22 on


    8 August


    macjay1 for Neil Lennon




    Classical music is good.



    Only if you like it.

  20. the long wait is over on

    While were trying to replace Gary Hooper with someone of his ability I’d go back for Niall McGinn.



    Not a direct replacement I know but he def.seems to know where the goal is and is far pacier than Stokes.




  21. GlassTwoThirdsFull



    We’re supposed to be getting another couple of mil and a half for Kelvin Wilson, another top player going, surely we can afford Finbogasson and it won’t break the bank. We paid nearly 3mil for Hooper, or so we’ve been told. get on with it.

  22. NegAnon2


    13:23 on


    8 August, 2013



    “How does this relate to wider matters? Well as we witness the culmination of a media/police/political and celtic led campaign to criminalise the celtic support in general and the Green Brigade in particular the message remains the same.”




    Could you please give some examples of Celtic leading a campaign to criminalise the their own supporters ?

  23. johann murdoch on

    Mad Mitch..N E way U could let us no who some of the initials R in UR posts ?



  24. GlassTwoThirdsFull on




    Yeah, I’m with you. Could be the difference between EL and CL.

  25. Here’s a crazy suggestion.



    Would it be possible to refer to our players by their full names?



    Even surnames would do.



    Initials are no good.







  26. There are more than enough cameras and stewards looking onto Section 111 to know who broke what and at what time.


    The overcrowding issue highlighted by the club in its statement is in fact a failure of policing/stewarding and cannot be laid at the door of the GB who are entitled to be there having paid for their ST .


    People gatecrashing that area are obviously not members of the GB

  27. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Finnbogasson would be on a fairly modest wage ,he would fit the wage structure i would guess.

  28. Johnny Russell wanted to play abroad or down South but hey why let that get in the way of a good story…



    “Russell had previously suggested he would be interested in a move away from the UK and Italian club Catania had a bid rejected for him in May.


    Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United were also unsuccessful in moves for the player, in August 2012 and this January respectively.


    However, the player told BBC Radio Derby that he had always felt the lure of playing in England.


    “I don’t think you could count England as abroad,” he joked. “But it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to play.


    “You want to try different things and I think I’m at a great club here.”


    Russell also told the BBC that the Championship club’s infrastructure had been instrumental in persuading him to move south.


    “The stadium, the training facilities have been really quality,” he said.


    “I spoke to the manager, the chairman, the coaching staff and their plans for what they want to do with the club, that’s really sold me on it.”

  29. Green Brigade: As someone who doesn’t pay much attention to them at the game – I’m at the other end – but, who recognises what they bring (or brought!).



    The talk of possibly finding a solution seems distant as Celtic can’t/won’t budge due to safety reasons etc.. and, the GB won’t budge cos, if they did, they would no longer be REBELS.




  30. starry plough



    not really what he said was it?



    why let what was said get in the way of assertion

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