Vulnerable underbelly of Fenerbahce


Let’s be clear about this, Fenerbahce looked at a Europa League group with Celtic and Molde and figured they and Ajax would progress.  They are paying some of the highest wages outside of the uber-resourced clubs in order to attract Robin van Persie, Nani and Raul Meireles, among others, to Turkey.  They clearly met stiffer competition than expected two weeks ago, when Molde stunned Europe with a 1-3 win in Istanbul, so Ronny Deila is right to suggest they are under greater pressure tonight.

This is our key advantage.  Fenerbahce arrive in Glasgow needing to bring the game to Celtic.  Had they won their opening fixture, they could have afforded a more conservative attitude.

As for Celtic, we’re at our best when counter-attacking.  Home and away to Malmo we dominated possession and territory but were picked off.  In Amsterdam we frustrated Ajax and broke forward with pace – which is something we have plenty of.

This is going to be a long, tense, night, but we can get at Fenerbahce.  Their early season league results have been positive, but there are signs of fragility, their only win by more than one goal was against the 17th placed team, and that was 7 weeks ago.  Maybe Molde uncovered a vulnerable underbelly.

Dermot, where to start?  You want things to happen before an important match day to unite fans, so I suppose he united us, but really?  Ill-advised, get on-message.

Eye on the prize for tonight.

Fan safety issue:

Uefa Security, Turkish Police, Police Scotland, Celtic and Fenerbahce met last night.  The issue of Flags and Banners was discussed at the request of the Turkish contingent.  They have highlighted their concerns for any banners being displayed which could provoke a reaction.

Political and religious tensions are running high in Turkey and it was expressed that the wrong displays could lead to serious disorder.  There will be banner checks on both sets of fans entering the stadium.

From what I can tell Fenerbahce fans enjoyed the ‘That’s not a knife’ parody, and our reputation with them is high, but Celtic fans will be in Istanbul in a few weeks and vulnerable if resentment exists.

Thank you to everyone who has taken a moment to donate to the Foundation this week via the Celtic fans who are competing in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday.  A wonderful aspect of humanity flows through the Celtic support.  If you get a chance to participate in the appeal, go for it:

Click here for my linked donation page.

Here for Steve Gunn’s.

Here for Thomas Eman’s.

Here for Robert Doherty’s.

Here for Stephen Hewitt’s.

Here for Kenny O’Neill’s.

It’s not too late to sign up for the GSR/Foundation, Sunday’s going to be a great day in Glasgow, if you fancy it……

If you entered the Magners’ Fanzone competition yesterday, check your email, winners have been notified.

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  1. Tontine Tim



    Great post but have to pull you up on one big factual inaccuracy.



    “that’s our bread and butter, tonight’s the jam.”



    Surely it is “jeely”???

  2. Paul



    The Great Scottish Run – (off) this Sunday…



    I see you have six run off candidates for the nomination for my vote (cash really).



    When is the live debate?



    What channel?



    Can you help the poor uninformed punter make a more informed choice?



    By the way, you are the incumbent, so you’ll get the blame for everything that is currently going wrong.




  3. A glamour game. . .perfect for trying a new formation, which only amounts to dropping one of the 3 behind the striker a bit deeper, seeing as we’re not, y’know, playing Kilmarnock, Murderwell etc but a team with some class footballers, who’ll salivate at the sight of a 2-man centre midfield.



    Is it football players or robots we’ve got?

  4. Captain Beefheart on

    Why would FC Porto or Benfica join a crap league with us? No chance.



    Celts to win tonight.

  5. Anyone else surprised that the bbc have overlooked the Celtic Hearts tie and gone for the Highland derby as their live coverage game in the LC Quarter finals?


    Thought not.



    These people are a disgrace and their hatred if us is becoming even worse than ever….if that’s possible. The thought of cutting a cheque to us must have turned a few of their stomachs.



    A disgraceful match choice in terms of trying to meet maximum public interest.

  6. Tontine Tim



    de-oglivieed – that will win word of the month and it’s only the 1st!



    Looking forward to the game tonight and let’s hope many of us lucky to be going remember it’s not SPFL cannon fodder we’re playing!!

  7. HT



    The only other option was if Simunovic was fit enough then he’d might switch Ambrose before he’d play Kieran Tierney, who is too inexperienced to start IMHO.



    Who knows csc

  8. Bourne



    Ye I do know what you’re saying I just remain unconvinced about Blackett as a full back.



    Who cares, so long as we get a result :-)

  9. Oh and by the way, still clear skies overhead, 9 miles from Celtic Park. Just back from a wee walk and decidedly chilly when not in the sun.



    In summary, a few layers required but no need for anything waterproof ;-)

  10. JoeC


    The only place I can think that will show the game in Granada is an Irish bar called Hannigans, it’s just behind the Cathedral, I would call them first though and ask them.



  11. The Comfortable Collective on

    Has the team for tonight officially been announced yet?



    According to “Live Score” website it’s




























  12. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Passed Celtic Park about an hour ago. The stadium looked magnificent in the glorious sunshine.



    Let’s hope for a good performance and result tonight.

  13. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on




    Pure posh presentation of your team choice. Surprised you didn’t include Wee Christina:-))

  14. Celtic team to play @Fenerbahce: Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Ambrose, Tierney; Brown, Bitton; Commons, Johansen, Forrest; Griffiths #UEL (MH)

  15. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    On train to Dalmarnock. Excitement growing. Train filling up nicely with Tims of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. I’m very hopeful.



    Hail! Hail!

  16. Wow



    Some team. Defence is fragile looking against very experienced international defenders.



    Commons out wide?



    We will need to be tight as hell tonight. Compact and close the gaps.



    I confess to being very worried about the coming game, but I am a Celtic pessimist.

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