Photo: Vagelis Georgariou biglens.co.uk
Georgios, “I’ll have two goals in the first half”.
No matter what Celtic’s objectives for tonight are, to keep things decent, or to overcome an enormous deficit, priority no. 1 will be to protect Fraser Forster’s goal as much as possible. Juventus scored three goals at Celtic Park while making sure Celtic players were denied daylight in front of goal.
We also have to keep 11 men on the park. Manchester United went out of Europe last night in part because they went down to 10 men, but also because Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t produce an effective way to protect his lead with 1 men until it was too late. If anyone is red carded, let’s make sure he is wearing black and white. Indiscipline from the home team offers our only opportunity of making a contest of the tie.
Charlie Mulgew is lacking match fitness and would be an enormous risk, no matter how key to our European game-plan he is. Georgios Samaras is the player European scouts all go home talking about after watching Celtic. He is the archetypal European player and could extend his already-record-breaking scoring run away from home in Europe tonight. Don’t bet against him.
Our full backs will be key. Emilio Izaguirre played his best game for Celtic in the first leg but has been far less convincing since. It is time for the Honduran to demonstrate his full potential on the big stage. Adam Matthews has impressed since arriving at the club and I fully expect he will mature before your eyes tonight.
One or two Celtic players have declined new contracts in the hope of attracting some of the silly money available elsewhere. Producing at the Juventus Stadium might convince some they are worth the trouble. This is no reference to Photogenic Georgio, b.t.w., he’s here for keeps!
The Twists & Turns Celtic Supporters Club is holding a charity night at the Supporters’ Association Club on London Road, this Friday, 8 March, at 7.30pm. There will be Question and Answer session with me, John Fallon, Dixie Deans, Archie MacPherson, compared by Phil Agnew. Afterwards you can enjoy music from Foggy Dew.
Tickets are £10 and you can get them from Phil by calling 07811 178764, or email me your numer and I’ll pass it on (firstname.lastname@example.org). Profits are going to the Tommy Burns charity.
I’ve been to a few nights with John, Dixie, Archie and Phil and they are always fantastic Celtic occasions, so get yourself a ticket. See you there.