Rundown on possible opponents


Celtic were one of five seeds from the Champions League, champions’ section, in the last round, but only one of the other seeds is still in the competition, so while seeding is welcome, it would be a mistake to read too much into it.

I’ve no idea what happened in Malmo last night, where the Swedish champions overturned Salzburg’s two goal lead from the first leg in a remarkable first half, and are a potential opponent for Celtic in today’s draw.  At half time I still fancied Salzburg to get things together and qualify, but Swedish football gets its act together every now and then.  There appears to be some substance to this Malmo team.

A trip to Albania to play Skenderbeu would be ideal.  They are a small town club who are in the play-off round after beating Crusaders and Moldovan’s Milsami Orhei.  It would also give those of us who’ve been around for a while a chance to bore the rest of you about that great game against Partizan Tirana.

A return to Astana is also possible, this time to play FK Astana, who beat HKJ Helsinki in the last round.  The most alarming fact about Astana is that they beat Maribor in the second round.  You remember Maribor?  The name sounds familiar but I can’t place them.

The team with the highest coefficient we can face is Maccabi Tel-Aviv.  Maccabi overcame a first leg defeat to Hibernians (the Maltese Hibs, that is).  They then lost at home to Czechs Viktoria Plzen but a two goal victory in Plzen saw them through.  I missed the preseason game against Sparta Prague, what shape is Czech club football in?

Former finalists Partizan Belgrade are the fifth and final possibility.  They beat the Georgian champions before seeing off seeded former winners Steaua Bucharest in the third round.  So although Skenderbeu would be my choice, a trip to Belgrade would be a decent alternative.

Reading through the list, the one thing which is evident is that Champions League football would be transformational for every team in the ‘champions’ side of the draw.  The aspirations invested in qualifying will be huge.  The Albanians would earn around 20 times their annual income.  Expect every trick in the book.

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  1. Captain Beefheart on

    Sums it up I heard.



    No physical advantage plus our lack of creativity will affect us. Add a poor choice of strikers…



    Oh well.

  2. Settle for that. We have a great record v Swedish teams in CL. Qualifying. Not travel problems, no inclement weather.


    If we can’t beat a Swedish team then we’re not good enough for CL.

  3. Tough draw, but I doubt Malmo will be jumping with joy at drawing Celtic.


    Winnable for sure, as long as we’re on our game for home AND away legs.

  4. Happy with that.Slightly happier if we were away first,but not sure it makes that much of a difference now.We should be a lot fitter,and Commons should have a few games under his belt.


    Its all to play for,and we have a great chance.

  5. charles kickham on

    Strange there – I was watching it live on bt sport Europe – but Celtic tweeted our draw before it happened on screen – must be a slight delay in transmission

  6. Here is a rundown from STV on Malmo.






    Club coefficient: 12.545


    Club coefficient ranking: 142nd


    Squad value (via Transfermarkt £14.46m


    Manager: Age Hareide


    Last season in Europe: Champions League group stage (One win, 5 losses)


    Stadium: Swedbank Stadium (Capacity 24,000)



    The Swedish champions made a real splash in Europe last season, making their way past Ventspils, Sparta Prague and Red Bull Salzburg to reach the Champions League proper. Once they got there they found it hard going against Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Olympiacos but the experience obviously put them in good stead for this year’s competition.



    Hareide’s side squeezed past Zalgiris Vilius with a 1-0 aggregate win in the second qualifying round this time and set up a reunion with Red Bull Salzburg. The Austrians won 2-0 at home in the first leg, giving Malmo everything to do in the return to show they were no one season wonders.



    An explosive start in Sweden gave them just what they needed with three goals in the first half to put them ahead in the tie. Midfielder Enoch Adu was sent off just after the hour mark but Malmo held on to put themselves just 180 minutes away from a return to the group stage.



    Twice knocking out a Salzburg side that gave Celtic a tough time last season should be a mark of Malmo’s potential.



    Serbian striker Nikola Djurdic, who faced Celtic previously as a Helsingborgs player, has hit the ground running at his new side, scoring four times in as many games. Strike partner Markus Rosenberg has vast experience and both were on the scoresheet against Salzburg.



    Maybe more surprising to Celtic fans is that two of the three goals that put Malmo through were set up by Jo Inge Berget. The Norwegian who failed dismally at Celtic has seven goals in 15 games for Malmo and may have a point to prove if he makes a return to Celtic Park.

  7. I heard he was dead on

    I watched Malmo vs Salzburg.



    Fanatical home support.



    Physically imposing and compact.



    Celtic don’t have the goals in this game.



    I fear we will struggle very badly.

  8. I have completed my Wiki scouting trip of Malmo FF. They have the threat of a long throw from former Aberdeen player Kari Arnason.



    Their captain in Markus Rosenberg who used to be amazing in Football Manager…

  9. Be rest assured


    Malmo Quick news will be thinking FFS noooooooooo The Celtic anyone bar them,


    Offski petshop time

  10. Current Swedish league standings



    # Team MP W D L F A D P Last 5 matches H2H


    1 IFK Göteborg 18 11 5 2 29 10 +19 38 WLDDD


    2 Djurgården 18 10 6 2 30 16 +14 36 WWDWW


    3 Norrköping 18 10 5 3 29 19 +10 35 LWDDW


    4 Elfsborg 17 10 4 3 33 20 +13 34 WLWDW


    5 AIK 18 9 6 3 35 24 +11 33 WWLWD


    6 Malmö FF 18 8 7 3 35 24 +11 31 DWDDL

  11. Captain Beefheart on

    I heard. They are mediocre in Sweden. They can be defeated. Problem is that we are also mediocre.

  12. patmcgrathtakesapenalty on

    Take it as it comes. There will probably be tense moments in the Malmo games but the Groups Stage calls this year.

  13. Mibbe some of you would prefer if we just concede the feckin tie!



    I’m not worried about Malmo.



    A decent side by all accounts………………………but they are not Barca, Bayern or PSG!!!



    Well they wirny the last time I looked.



    C’MON THE CELTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Not the draw I wanted particularly home first for personal and footy reasons.Still at least they will bring a support and it should be a good night at Paradise.



    Looking forward to it.

  15. Parkheadcomesalford



    They draw one team from seeded pot and one team from unseeded pot and put them in a pot together. They then draw the two teams to see who is at home first.

  16. Either Santa knew you have all been naughty boys recently or let’s all theorise of how the draw was fixed



    Ps wonder what country will be able to provide the more glamorous female company for the match officials

  17. There are at least 50 teams in Europe who are better than Malmo. If we can’t beat them over two legs we don’t deserve to be in the Champions League. Simple as that.

  18. Not being funny, but FFS its Malmo we have been drawn against not Barca or RM, some people need to chill a bit.

  19. Malmo, I wanted to avoid but their form in Europe over the past 4 seasons has gained them the following co-efficient points:


    2.580 1.025 1.640 6.780



    Celtic compare as follows:


    5.550 16.860 6.650 7.800



    Quite a difference in pedigree but won’t mean anything when the teams take the pitch and beating Red Bull Salzburg 3-0 in Sweden shows what they can do under pressure.



    Tough one and being at home first is a disadvantage for me but they should fear us more than we fear them.



    Should ensure 60,000 for the first leg.

  20. traditionalist88 on

    If we just learn to retain the ball a bit better we would all be much more confident. Was like a hot potato for the first 30 mins in Azerbaijan – what is that about? If Van Dijk hadnt gone on 2 or 3 bursts forward, carrying the whole team up the pitch, it could have been a different outcome.



    Our best spell of the game was from the ~60th min onwards, we looked much more composed and threatening. Against a better team we could have been 2 or 3 down by then, given how we started.



    Need to improve on a number of things.




  21. Gary67 on 7th August 2015 11:28 am



    Midday I believe I’m hoping Tuesday for the home leg due to work.

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