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. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    They were saying last night on BY Sports that van Gaal never worries about playing youngsters. Why should we worry about young Kieran? As you say in Ronny we trust,

  2. Houston’s Green and White!


    Great big shout out to y’all going to the game tonight!


    Sing loud! Sing Proud!!


    Wish I was there.





  3. Don’t some folk on here not know that BBC Scotland has a duty to promote the game in the provinces?

  4. mike in toronto on

    Hello lads



    It’s 32 degrees in Aruba. KT is loving the heat.



    Managed a few dives yesterday …saw lots of turtles and a few sting rays! Pretty majestic creatures.



    Just found out celticfc isn’t showing the game, so hoping one of the many bars showing the football will have the game. Otherwise, it will be celticfc and can for me.



    Hope all is well with everyone.



    Hail hail

  5. Delaneys Dunky on

    Good team. Hopefully a winning one. Delighted for Young Kieran.


    Here we go!



  6. Ill say it before a balls kicked.



    Efe is NOT a centre half.



    Very worried that he is at the heart of our defence against such quality.

  7. Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villian by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengence; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.



    Be Gallus Celtic .



    Hail Hail.

  8. North Cyprus (formerly Baku) Bhoy on

    Evening All,



    Just got back home to North Cyprus, after a long two-day journey from work in Algeria. I briefly chatted with a fellow Hoops fan this morning, in the Clubrooms Lounge in Gatwick’s North Terminal, but had to rush off to catch my flight to Istanbul, before I had time to introduce myself. If that was one of you lads (heading home to Belfast), then please accept my apologies if I seemed rude.



    Hail Hail to All, and here’s hoping for another good performance tonight.

  9. Delaneys Dunky on

    Efe is our leader in defence. He will rise and shine like a star tonight.


    There’s only one F in Efe!

  10. Working til 8 but hoping to sneak away 5 mins early to try to get back home for kick off.


    Anyone hoping for live updates may have to settle for Canamalar until i get back :)


    3-2 us Commons, Griffiths and Johansen….not sure who gets their goals though.



    Have a great night in Paradise everyone :)




  11. Cannae believe Ronny ignored my advice!!



    Cannae wait to be proved very wrong!



    ‘Mon The Mighty Hoops!

  12. Whatever happens I hope young Tierney doesn’t get destroyed tonight.



    Good luck to the Bhoy!

  13. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Lets get right behind the team and big Efe love him or loath him he always gives a 100% when he is picked and it is a big game for young Tierney.This Turkish team have some big players in there team and pay big bucks so they will be no mugs but it is eleven against eleven but lets keep calm even if we dont win lets keep backing Ronny.H.H.

  14. Fingers crossed for the 3 points, it looks like quite an attacking line up, not really the sit in and hit on the counter we might have been expecting. Think that is actually a good idea for the first half, maybe tighten things up, if we are 1 up, in the 2nd.



    Happy to see Efe at the heart of defense, really get nervous with him as a right back. But I think he usually does a great job at CB. This is a great test for him, to see if he can step up and take charge.



    Lustig, well I can understand why Ronny has to pick him, normally solid in defense and dangerous attacking, but he can be a bit of a tactical liability if he has to go of injured again.



    Like I said, I do prefer coming out to attack them in the first half, get in their faces, don’t give them time or space, and we can run at them, shoot from distance, and basically cause a lot of problems, while hopefully being quiet calm and in control when they attack.



    Hope everyone there tonight has a great time, very jealous. Just moved house, and not got sky sorted yet, so might not even see the game! Keep the updates coming…..

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