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Seeds struggle but a Celtic win is possible

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Third round seeds could not produce a win between them in last night’s Champions League qualifiers.  While Ajax earned a respectable draw away to POAK, APOEL Nicosia lost at home to Qarabag and Dinamo Zagreb drew at home to Ferencvaros, bottom seed on only 3.5 points.

Dinamo Kiev lost away to Bruges and Copenhagen scored late to secure a draw in Belgrade against Red Star.

Celtic get a chance to put that right in Cluj tonight.  The Romanian champions are four games into their domestic league and have already eliminated two higher seeds: Astana and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, so there should be no surprises for Neil Lennon.

Neil’s selection questions all surround defence.  Jozo Simunovic and Chris Jullien are both available after weekend suspensions, but the biggest concern is over the availability of Hatem Abd Elhamed.  The Israeli retired with a dead leg on Saturday after an impressive first half.

Celtic managed to get the heavy lifting done in the first leg of each of their two previous qualification ties.  I might be getting carried away after Saturday, but a win tonight would help preparations for the playoff round.  Anything seems possible when you play like that.

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    We are more than capable of winning tonight.

     

     

    No carelessness at the back and minimise the number of times we give the ball away cheaply and I think we will come away with a 2-1 or 2-0 victory.

     

     

    HH

  2. mullet and co 2 on

    Reading an exchange between John Bradshaw and a Rangers fanatic on Celtics Liam facility on twitter.

     

     

     

    Celtic’s loan is £9m which had cost Celtic £540k to service up to July.

     

     

     

    Rangers guy argues if we have all that cash at the bank why would we continue to pay £540k to service the loan. John argues it may have been renegotiated.

     

     

     

    My view is that it may have been renegotiated to fit a a zero net cost risk by balancing the interest earned from cash at the bank with the loan facility percentage fee. If Celtic earn 2% interest on cash this means there is a potential net profit between the loan facility and the interest on cash at the bank.

     

     

     

    The reason for keeping the loan is to service the cash flow over the year rather than dipping into cash at the bank.

     

     

     

    So if we paid of the loan our cash could drop to say £20m. If we then use that to service cash flow the cash at the bank will fluctuate down to a presumed £11m if the £9m loan is there to managed cash flow peaks and troughs. Doing that means the interest earned would be say 2% of £15m = £300,000.

     

     

     

    Whereas keeping cash at the bank at £30m and using the loan for cash flow bets about £60k.

     

     

     

    I don’t know how much the club earn in interest from cash at the bank to rationalise this- does anyone have that info?

     

     

     

    I would have thought Celtic would have been looking to renegotiate the loan fee to say 4% and hit closer to 2.5% to make the continuation of the loan stack up?

  3. A score draw against Cluj would be good, a win would be brilliant, dare to dream.

     

     

    I think we’re capable of both but it will be by far the toughest game we’ve played this season.

     

    It will be interesting to see how we set up. Lenny has spoken of a more pragmatic approach in Europe when required. Will he be cautious, keep it tight or look to attack to bring a lead back to Paradise?

     

     

    Not long now.

     

     

    HH

  4. El Paso’s congresswoman said Trump “put the target on our back.” She’s skipping his visit.

  5. Dbhoy on 7th August 2019 12:36 pm

     

    ———————————————————

     

    Ajer and Simonivic at the heart of the defence, with Brown and Bitton covering in front.

  6. Henry Joy

     

     

    I would guess Simo or Ajer will partner Jullien. Jullien will definitely start if fit imo.

     

     

    HH

  7. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    JIMBOB71 & LITTLE MISS JIMBOB

     

    ———

     

     

    Thank you :-))

     

     

    WeeBGFC

  8. mullet and co 2 on

    I’d expect

     

    Bain

     

    El Hamed

     

    Ajer

     

    Simunovic

     

    Julien

     

    Bolingoli-Mbombo

     

    Brown

     

    McGregor

     

    Christie

     

    Forrest

     

    Edouard

     

     

    Maybe Bitton for Julien but I believe 5 at the back will be the way forward.

     

     

    Forrest and Christie operating as inside left and right at times.

     

     

    Julien played PSG a twice last season and lost both by 1 goal. Almost scored too.

  9. Timaloy29@11:36

     

    I realise each person`s individual bias can lead to different interpretations of the same article. Below are some parts of the article which led me to reading it as , overall, unsupportive of the `local` team:

     

     

    ” “… these Champions League qualifiers get tougher in every round and Celtic are well aware that the quality of the opposition this time around bears little relation to previous opponents Nomme Kalju of Estonia or Bosnian team Sarajevo.”

     

     

    TRUE BUT WILL WE READ THAT ABOUT ANY OF THE OTHE SCOTTISH TEAMS IN EUROPE?

     

     

    ‘Although … Cluj have qualified for the group phase three times in the last 12 seasons.’

     

     

    DOES THAT REALLY AMOUNT TO SUCCESS ?

     

     

    “Managed by a national hero, the former Chelsea full-back, Dan Petrescu, they have beaten Astana and Maccabi Tel Aviv to earn this head-to-head with Celtic.”

     

     

    AGAIN, TRUE BUT WHAT IS THE AUTHOR`S INTENTION?

     

     

    “They are a hard-working side who will scrap for everything. they certainly will not be pushed around.”

     

     

    IS PUSHING TEAMS AROUN HOW WE NORMALLY WIN GAMES?

     

     

     

    “Ones to watch

     

    French left winger Billel Omrani will have been picked out as an obvious danger to Celtic’s chances in Romania. He is not all about tricks and flicks. Omrani has a more direct, bustling style of play. Cluj will hope the very left-footed player’s driving runs down the flank are a feature of the match.

     

     

    Central striker Mario Rondon is a penalty-box predator. The 33-year-old Venezuelan, who wears the number 99 on his back, is constantly looking to sniff out chances. Rondon is not the most technically-blessed front man you will ever see, but his work rate is impressive and he is happy to feed off any scraps that come his way in front of goal.

     

     

    Veteran Argentinian midfielder Emmanuel Culio has apparently been ruled out because of injury, but there’s another man in the Cluj engine room who catches the eye. Croatian Damjan Djokovic has the work ethic of the tennis champion who shares his surname – and a lot more besides. He will be the one of the midfield three who gets into the box and tries to add to the Cluj cutting edge.”

     

    AGAIN, WILL WE BE TOLD THE OPPOSITION`S STRENGTH IN THE DONS AND SEVCO GAMES?

     

     

    ‘Cluj ‘must press Celtic’

     

     

    INDEED THEY MUST …IF THEY ARE TO WIN. IS THAT WHAT THE AUTHOR WANTS?

     

     

    `But, if Cluj play a short, passing game and go out to attack Celtic, it could be a problem for Neil Lennon’s team.`

     

    AGAIN, WHAT IS THE REASON FOR TELLING US THIS ?

     

     

    ‘ if you come out and press against the ball, Celtic have a problem.”

     

     

    MORE OF THE SAME.

     

     

    As I said at the outset, I can see how these words can be read differently but I would ask: Will the same type of stuff be written re Sevco, in particular, tomorrow ?

     

     

    JJ

     

     

    JJ

  10. Now that we have a multitude of options, it gets harder to predict the team.

     

     

    I might be wrong, but like a few others, have a hunch that Lenny might opt for 3 centre halfs. I’ll guess at the following :

     

     

    ——————–Bain———————-

     

     

    ——-Ajer Bitton or Jullien Jozo——

     

     

    Forrest Broony Ntcham McGregor Boli

     

     

    ——————Christie———————-

     

     

    ——————Edouard————————-

     

     

     

    I think Ntcham might be added, to bolster the midfield. Midfield strength and numbers are pivatol , and I think Lennon buys in to that.

  11. If Cluj are the `well organised, solid` group we are told, then I would like to see Mikey Johnston play.He could disrupt their organisation.

     

    Cheerio for now.

     

    JJ

  12. traditionalist88 on

    HOT SMOKED on 7TH AUGUST 2019 1:46 PM

     

     

    Think he’ll be kept as a good option from the bench depending how its going,

     

     

    HH

  13. Hot Smoked

     

    It’s certainly a possibility, and the way he has started the season has been great. If they are the well organised, solid, experienced side that we are hearing… Lennon may want to fight fire with fire.

     

     

    Alternatively, as you say, go with something different to unsettle them.

     

     

     

    ——————-Bain————————–

     

     

    ——–Ajer Jullien Jozo————-

     

     

    Forrest Broony McGregor Holy-Boli

     

     

    ———–Christie Johnston————-

     

     

    —————-Edouard——————–

  14. Hot Smoked – 100% bang on.

     

     

    They can’t help themselves and certainly can’t hide it, can they?

     

    That article is dripping with negativity towards Celtic and is fuelled by hope for the opposition.

     

     

    And it also reflects the hope of a massive part of the non-Celtic supporting elements within Scotland. – they’re clearly not writing it for a Romanian demographic, but for a Scottish one.

  15. HOT SMOKED on 7TH AUGUST 2019 1:33 PM

     

     

    The article is written by Rob McLean whom I doubt is an expert on Romanian football.

     

     

    The purpose of the article is simply to provide background on Cluj. Nothing there is particularly interesting and is just the usual platitudes:

     

     

    “these Champions League qualifiers get tougher in every round“

     

    “Celtic are well aware that the quality of the opposition”

     

    “bears little relation to previous opponents”

     

    “hard-working side”

     

    “will not be pushed around”

     

     

    Hardly glowing.

     

     

    The article reads as follows: here are some empty platitudes, here’s some basic facts I googled and here’s a quote from the old Dundee United & Hearts coach

     

     

    It’s not overly negative or part of some agenda against Celtic. It’s just some background for people not interested enough to google for themselves.

     

    Filler material you’d find in the match program.

  16. Dbhoy’s Celtic spear tip formation…

     

     

    Bain

     

     

    Elhamed Ajer Jullien Mbombo

     

     

    Ntcham Broony McGregor

     

     

    Forrest Christie

     

     

    Edouard

     

     

    Looks good to me….:)

     

     

    HH

  17. Timaloy29

     

    Like i said, different interpretations.

     

    The litmus test , for me, will be how the BBC `provide background`for the Sevco game tomorrow.

     

    Definitely off now.

     

    Good to chat.

     

    JJ

  18. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Ajer will be RB IMO, Tam not had enough games,and could be a sub wasted early, decision is Ntcham to attack a bit more from MF,or Bitton to sit deeper…

  19. Go tell the Spartim on

    Regarding the BBC article, its typical them and typical Rob McLean, if anyone is in any doubt just listen to him commentate on us, any game you like but esp European ones, youd be locked up for thinking we were the scottish team. The best thing to do is win and shut him up for another week and then if we get by Prague then we can look forward to all his indepth knowledge of all our group opponents.

     

     

    He forgets as does the BBC that they only reason they get to see European away games is primarily down to us.

  20. HOT SMOKED,

     

    Going with your point,I had a wee look at the Midgie Land,(from Scotland? )squad.They have a couple of expensive Brazilians,an Australian International winger,highly rated,and a bunch of Danish InternationalsLost the league by one point last year,and have won 4 from 4 this season.

     

    Have you seen this in the media.?

  21. BADA BING,

     

    Think you are right.If its not working,then Lenny can change it.

     

     

    This team might be nowhere as good as us.

  22. Bada Bing

     

     

    If N.L chooses to play a back 4, and therefore requires a right back. I don’t see it being Ajer. Particularly if Elhamed is declared fit and available.

     

    If Ajer were to play right-side, I would reckon it would be right-side of a back 3.

     

     

    Only my opinion of course.

  23. BIG GEORGES FAN CLUB – HAIL, HAIL, WEE OSCAR on 7TH AUGUST 2019 1:03 PM

     

    I understand Paul67 has sorted WEEBGFC’s registration/login issue.

     

    Any problems let us know.

  24. Celtic for a change go into to-night’s match with a settled team after the turmoil of last season’s qualifiers. The team is playing well and fitness is up and all the players are experienced European campaigners. I’m in the dark as regards Romanian football but no doubt they good ball players as with all these continental sides.

     

     

    Celtic play it tight and watch their set plays this has been something of a defending problem for the team in these games. Celtic have the pace and skill of Christie, Eddy and Jamsie in attack and a score draw or a 0-0 would be great.

     

     

    Would have thought our Ukranian star Shved might have been ideal for this match.

  25. Go tell the Spartim on

    If Big Tam is our RB, and lets be honest he didnt do too badly on his debut, play him there, Ajer and Julien at CB with Boli Boli LB.

     

     

    Think we’ll play 442 and if we are good enough to take the lead may well bring on Big Nir to close out the game

  26. prestonpans bhoys on

    When WeeBGFC posts his first one under his own name, who is going to be the first to reply ‘are you a hun’😁😱😵

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