Treat Benfica as though they were Barca


After two highly productive performances against Barcelona confidence will be high, but it is worth remembering that Benfica earned a 0-0 draw at Celtic Park on Champions League match day one, and will have no fears for Tuesday.

After that game in September Celtic were favourites to finish bottom of the group.  Barca managed a slim 3-2 at home to Spartak after a late surge, placing them top of the group while the Russians were rightly encouraged.  Benfica earned a valuable away point without being greatly troubled by Celtic.  Indeed, the half time video analysis from the Uefa technicians looped repeatedly on one incident, a Benfica penalty claim.

That scenario has changed.  Celtic sit second top but a win would see Benfica match them on points and go second on the head-to-head.   Make no mistake, despite Celtic’s heroics against Barcelona, Benfica expect to be second in the group on Tuesday evening.  They are rightly favourites.

We are now tantalisingly close to the knock out stages of the Champions League but two of the most difficult games of the season lie ahead.  The best thing Celtic can do is show Benfica as much respect as they showed Barcelona.  Benfica are not quite as dangerous as the Catalans but they are more than capable of exploiting any gaps in the Celtic defence.  Treat them as Barcelona-lite and we might even collect our second win in this tournament away from home.

The Andrea Kearney Fund have a signed Celtic jersey available for auction on eBay. The fund, in memory of Andrea, assists families of women who are diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. Since Andrea died, aged 41, four years ago, over 50 families have been helped.

You can keep an eye on the auction here.

The CQN Annual will be available next week, both online and at one or two selected retail outlets. There’s a cracking image on the cover of a goal celebration from a recent goal….

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  1. Good morning from chilly Manchester.



    Too late for Given?




    Given signed as a teenager for Celtic but he left for Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1994 and never played for the first team at Parkhead.



    The 36-year-old former Ireland international has been regularly linked with a move to the club he supports throughout his career but it has never transpired.



    Given is committed to the claret and blues for the time being and is only 16 months into a five-year contract at Villa Park, but would like to turn out for the Hoops before he calls it a day.



    “I never say never in football and it’s no secret that I would love to play for Celtic,” said Given.



    “I don’t know if that will be possible financially in the future and I am a Villa player.



    “But the fact that I never played even a minute for the first team at Parkhead when I was there as a kid has always been a disappointment. Maybe that could change some day, who knows?”



    Meanwhile, current first-choice keeper Brad Guzan claimed his Villa team-mates are excited about the progress they have made under Villa boss Paul Lambert.

  2. Some news




    Fulham have pulled off an enormous coup in beating Manchester United and Celtic in the race to sign emerging Irish talent Noe Baba.



    The 16-year-old from County Mayo has enjoyed a rapid rise through the national side’s youth ranks, having already captained the U17’s and been called up to the U19’s despite his tender years. Despite Manchester United’s academy director Brian McClair reportedly visiting the young talent earlier this year, and coming close to joining the Hoops during the summer, the youngster has opted for a move to West London, the Daily Mail report.



    Baba, who is of Cameroonian descent, impressed the Fulham quartet of Malcolm Elias, Steve Wigley, Huw Jennings and Stewart Henderson while playing for local side Castlebar Celtic. The defender opted for the London club after being convinced that Fulham’s recruitment and academy set-up would give him a better platform to progress.

  3. up_over_goal,



    That story about Gordon Strachan not being interested was thrown into the mix by BBC Scotland, There were no quotes; just that they understood. Always felt that they were simply voicing SFA high heid yins. They’ll be terrified of him, because he won’t stand any nonsense from the odd handshake brigade. Their days will really be numbered if he gets the job.

  4. Has anyone ever heard of Orange woalks in November?



    On Saturday morning past at Airdire Lesiure Centre watching the boys 7 a sides we were treated to the sound of distant drums and it wisnae that old racist Jim Reeves crooning away.



    Wiz this a postponed walk from the summer or a practice for next summer.



    Or is it just part of Airdire’s fitness drive…get out and walk.

  5. Wanyama in line for top award



    Wanyama: Kenya’s rising star



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    Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama is among seven nominees shortlisted for Kenya’s Overall Sports Personality of the year.



    The 21-year-old faces stiff competition from World record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha and a raft of the country’s other world-class athletes, among them Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi and double world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, who won the award last year.



    Panel chairperson Evelyn Watta told journalists: “This year was not a good year for Kenyan sport. We had names from unusual quarters and narrowing down based on their performance was not an easy thing.



    “Our expectations at the London Olympics were quite high and going by this, the nominations we received gave us a challenge and the people we selected emerged top.”



    Wanyama has adjusted seamlessly to life at Parkhead after joining the Scottish champions in July 2011.



    On the back of a solid debut season in the Scottish Premier League, the 21-year-old was the subject of transfer enquiries from a host of Premier League clubs in the summer.



    Although a move failed to materialise, Wanyama is heavily tipped to join a bigger club next season, with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle credited with interest.



    Wanyama’s representative has already revealed that his client rejected the offer of a new contract at Parkhead, while manager Neil Lennon, who is loathe to lose his prized asset, values Wanyama at around £25million.



    Posted: 16/11/12 08:

  6. 79caps



    It was one of those “BBC Scotland understands” statements.



    Owen Coyle’s granny, behind the washing line, with the loud-hailer.

  7. We need to let Shay know that we are no longer a part of a player’s retirement plan.



    Could sign him on a pay as you play but how much is HE willing to pay for each game!

  8. Nuclear Bovril and a Half Munched Pie on

    Great news for CQNers who want to celebrate their curves.



    3 x XL anniversary tops are now available from the club stores.

  9. Parkheadcumsalford


    08:24 on


    16 November, 2012


    Morning all from a bleak North Ayrshire. I am beginning to wonder if we will ever see the sun again in these parts. It must be a week since it was last giving us its benefit.



    Will today’s AGM give us a boost? Judging by past ones I’ve attended, I don’t hold out much hope, although some of the questions raised are awfy naff, imo.






    Will await the outcome of the AGM with bated breath! Well maybe not!



    There will certainly be a fair bit of praise for the board – a lot of it warranted – but I do not expect many ‘awkward’ questions from those attending, unless there are some CQNers present.



    Some questions I would like posed to the plc board are –



    – How much money has the club received/made so far for participating in the CL?;



    – Will the club do all in its power to hold on to our prized assets and only sell them for top dollar if it should come to that?;



    – What are the club’s views on proposed reconstruction proposals?;



    – Do the board ever envisage a time when the club will no longer be part of the SPL, but instead compete in a .n. other league, a European Regional League with other clubs from various countries or a pan-European Super League?;



    – Do the club intend to sign a ‘stand-alone’ shirt sponsorship deal with a major company, and distance itself from the one which currently ties us in with a now deceased club?;



    – What plans -if any – do the club have to start phase 2 at Lennoxtown: i.e the construction of facilities for the Youth Academy?;



    – What are the board’s views on the harrassment of the GB at the hands of Strathclyde Police and even some CFC stewards?;



    I’ll stop there…



    Answers on a postcard!






  10. At the velodrome (dont fancy my chances if getting them to put ch 4 on the big screen) before going to Celtic park for the race night. Anyway hoping for a good day for Alan king so my nap is Lovcen at Cheltenham please

  11. tommytwiststommyturns on

    I’ll go for Bradley in the 1:55 at Cheltenham.



    Any of you coming along to the race, hope you have a great time….and bring plenty of cash! ;-)




  12. ☆ ☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆


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    ☆ ☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆

  13. Can’t believe Walkon is in receipt of 1 stone from Grand Crus and Hunt Ball … anyway my horse for today is Themilanhorse 3.05 Cheltenham.



    Handicap snips never win!



    Good luck to everyone.

  14. Lads, apologies…



    Power cuts and no internet connection in Beirut both last Saturday and again this week !



    My (very) late nap is :



    Queen of Skies (Wolves 9.20)



    I will update the last 2 weeks results tables tomorrow – Sunday.



    Cheers, fleagle1888

  15. CQN Saturday Naps Competition – Week 16 Results & Standings



    Week 14 – two winners – Bada Bing (Cubanita @8/1) and green T (Febthirtyfirst @4/1)


    Week 15 – two winners – Rockon Neil Lennon (Joseph Mercer @7/2) and Mhark67 (Our Father @11/4)



    +£16.25 green T (6)


    +£14.00 Rockon Neil Lennon (7)


    +£ 6.50 Sixteen roads to Golgotha (3)


    +£ 5.00 Valentine’s Day (3)


    +£ 3.50 BULL67 (3)


    +£ 1.50 Che (2)


    £ 0.00 fleagle1888 (2)


    -£ 0.50 Bada Bing (2)


    -£ 5.00 Magnificentseven (1)


    -£ 6.80 TheBarcaMole (2)


    -£ 7.00 Cathal (1)


    -£ 7.97 hunza rugli (2)


    -£ 8.00 voguepunter (1)


    -£ 8.50 MHARK67 (2)


    -£10.00 What is the Stars (1)


    -£10.50 Som mes que un club (1)


    -£11.00 gerry_bhoy (1)


    -£11.50 tommytwisttommyturns (1)


    -£12.00 leftclicktic (1)


    -£13.00 Glen (1)


    -£16.00 bobbymurdoch’s winklepickers


    -£16.00 gourockbhoy


    -£16.00 Raymac



    *No selection/NR – week 14 : fleagle1888, gerry_bhoy, Sixteen roads to Golgotha


    *No selection/NR – week 15 : Bada Bing, gerry_bhoy, Glen, hunza rugli, Raymac, Sixteen roads to Golgotha, Valentine’s Day



    Cheers, fleagle1888