Celtic vs Cluj preview

The August defeat at the hands of the Romanian’s stung like a round of drinks in Babbity’s.
It was a heady blow to all but especially our Lurgan leader who was trying to build some trust up with an already underwhelmed and sceptical fanbase upon returning.
The manner of the defeat especially brought calls of tactical naivety after not bolstering the middle of the park while the game leaned our way.
We are about to find out if it was a lesson learned by the gaffer and can he come out best in the rematch.

The opening game in France coupled with an excellent league start has given the Hoops a bit of a spring in their step going into this game. It has also gave Neil and his squad a bit of leeway from those fans who needed to be convinced , of whom few remain.
The Ibrox display seen the men in light blue outplayed and Rennes away was very steady for a usually there to be had outfit. We might not have Pep but theres clearly more than a bit of motivation .
Of course Murphy’s law has struck and we approach this tie on the back of dropping points plus not having a very fluid performance although the glass half full punter may well see legs that were holding a bit back for the bigger game to come,,, tonight.
Theres no better place to be in the entire game but under those floodlights with what should be a cracker of a game and the faithful in fine voice.
An unneeded I imagine shot in the arm might well be the fact their captain has already stupidly run his mouth off and proclaimed they expect to beat us again !
It could have went either way last time so he has just shown a bit of immaturity imo,,and the gaffer may well play that card in the dressing room pre speech tonight .
“ Lets get revenge and ram this down his throat “ or words to that effect would be adequate.

Our group ( group E ) already seen a mini shock when tonights opponents toppled the mighty Lazio at home , however this could be a sign the Italians arent taking this cup seriously as that nations entrants have been known to in the past. They focus on the league.
Whether thats a blessing or a disguise depends on where you sit I suppose but I would rather have all in it to win it rather than a couldnt be bothered team . In theory even a second string would play to their maximum to catch the bosses eye so a leave it approach seems very strange to me.
But still its the Romanians that come into tonights tie with three points and at the groups summit.
With the unpredictable Romans and the French well nullified at home this group is basically a grab a ticket lucky dip. Your number might come up but then again.
We must make our own luck though,,and tonight is the perfect night to lay down a marker.
Home wins are key and Cluj started the campaign with one,,if we aim to go through then its essential we match that.
Victory tonight would go a long way towards footie after Christmas which must be Neil’s ultimate aim. That itself would be a success of sorts and then its time to dream and imagine youre bigger than all the remaining giants as usual.

Who will play ?
Well I do think ElHamed will start having sat out the weekend. Odsonne , James , Ryan , Scott , Kris , Julien , Calmac , Frazer are all stick on’s in my book which leaves two positions open.
The left back and the third midfielder .
Boli and Ncham might well be fav’s here with big Tam an outside chance .
Another option would be move Ryan inside and stick Elyounoussi or Sinky wide left,,,I would much prefer this option with a proper left winger running at them with pace who can actually hit the by line no worries.
The curveball option would be two strikers and a start for Bayo at the third midfielders expense which would be attacking and ballsy if unlikely.

The team talk,,,
“ Look they had one foot in the grave and were dead and buried yet we somehow let them come alive again. Its time to really sink our teeth into them and kill them once and for all. Go for the jugular right from the off.
Now there was extra garlic in their goulash and the water is diverted from the local chapel plus Peter says he found a silver bullet he never had any intention of ever firing lying around.
They’re on our hallowed turf and will be uncomfortable even though it will be dark and historically October is their strongest month.
The stakes are high and pointy,,show no mercy and I wanna see cross after cross with no fear at all. I want that away dressing room to be like a cemetary later , silent as the grave.
The early goal will suck the life outta them. Now get into them like bat’s outta hell lad’s ! “
Or word’s to that effect I imagine.

The Prediction,,,
Well I did have us taking them last time,,and we really should have. Plus we have a bit of swagger now despite the refs and the Hibee’s. So yeah,,Im confident we will win or at least draw. I can see us going for three points and them thinking we have three points we werent expecting perhaps we go for it and try for 6 points in two games which more than likely will bring them through on that trajectory. Perhaps they try and like their captain says they arent afraid and think they can repeat the recent victory.
In that case at home , with big Odsonne and James on fire ,infront of the faithful , and Lurch back between the sticks, I see us taking them and laying down a marker that they got lucky and dont think you have our number based on a bad night fool’s.
2 zip and probably the groups summit also to round off a great night.

The above is by Mahe. If you wish to write anything for the site we are always more than happy to publish fellow fans views. We know there are great writers out there that just need a platform and an audience. sentinelcelts@gmail.com

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Twists n turns

I’m not going to make a score prediction but we have to win this game. The away point was a vg one but would probably count for nothing in the final table if we didn’t get the 3 tonight.

We should beat Cluj.

Ok, I will make a prediction. We will win by 2 goals.

Let’s hope the atmosphere is electric and the support go home satisfied and encouraged for the games to come.

Byres Road Bhoy

Good rousing article Mahe and I sincerely hope you are on the money with your prediction primarily because it will show us where we are in a way that five goal trouncings of a hapless Partick Thistle cannot. I have laid out for the three game package and am hoping, as ever, for another ‘Karagandy evening’ of celebratory stranger hugging.
I think Bayo may be under suspension for this match because of his previous red card and with the Griffalo still injury sidelined it could give us problems should Eddie fall victim to Cluj clogging.
One thing I’d like to see is our attackers paying more attention to the ‘far post’ area. Too often I see overhit crosses wasted because no one is sneaking in on the blind side.
Here’s hoping…

Twists n turns

Ref watch

As per usual when sorting out my bets – I had a look at tonight’s referee.

Yet again we have a card happy ref overseeing us tonight.

His record this season so far in European games is

Refereed 3 games

Yellows 13
Reds 2

That’s 4.33 yellows per game.

Early bookings best avoided!

It’s not just this season either:

Over the past 3 seasons he averages 3.7 yellows per match but if you only look at his European record over that 3 season period, the yellow card tally goes up to 6 yellows per game.

Looks like this guy likes to be the centre of attention on European nights.

I’ll be looking at the card markets on Paddy Power!!

Twists n turns

Some low stake bets placed on the basis of the ref expected performance:

The daftest? Probably this – but ya never know?

£2 to win £500 ?

Celtic 2+ Goals in Each Half; Celtic 3+ Corners in Each Half & CFR Cluj 2+ Cards in Each Half


Twists n turns

100/1 for:

Celtic 2+ First Half Goals; Celtic 5+ First Half Corners & Red Card Awarded


Twists n turns

That’s £4 to win £700 ???

Cmon the ref – dae yer stuff ?

Twists n turns

I guess I better go out to work and earn the £4. Laters amigos.

,big packy

MORNING ALL, great post mahe, what team would I put out, well its got to be the team that drew with rennes, my only concern I think that was the team that drew with hibs, so not sure, but I made a prediction the other day that I would walk down byres road naked if cluj beat us, byres road bhoy if your about, what is the temperature there at the moment?


I’m with Byres Road Bhoys on the corners and crosses, except I do not think they are overhit- well not since Lee Naylor left the building. I see many other teams have a back post runner and a Beyond-the-back-post runner who manage to turn these crosses into goals and chances. I don’t understand why all our options for crosses are narrow or central as a knock back across goal is a proven tactic, Bolingoli’s crosses can go 5 yards beyond the far post with no one near them. Peeling off from the narrow defenders seems a lost art at CP.

,big packy

SFTB, agree with you and byres road bhoy, but we have not got a Sutton, Larson, hartson type at the club at the moment, who imho were all brilliant in the air.


BTW- Lazio have been in Europa Group Stage 6 times in the past 8 years and have qualified each and every time, 3 times as winners and 3 times as runner-up. I don’t think they are uninterested and focusing only on the league.

big pack- we don’t need a Hartson and Suttton at the back post or beyond; they did their best work centrally competing with the big guys. If it is undefended, then even wee Frimpong, who has a decent leap for a small player, could do damage.

Morning Packy !

,big packy

MORNING JIM, just taking the dugs oot will have a blether later.

Typical, you’ve forgotten.


Off to the game with the troops tonight. I’m in 103 with my Dad,while my sisters and my niece are in 106. Not their usual seats as some UEFA bigwigs have snaffled them!

Hoping for a bloody good result to send me down the road on Saturday with a smile. Lord knows I could do with one!!!



If we leave Boli trailing the back post,he will be miles out of position if they get a break from the corner.

And we almost always end up defending our own corners!

Bobby, can’t remember who was manager – MON? – when we used to take a lot of ‘short corners’. I hated them at the time. Now I’m not so sure.



Well,at least we didn’t lose possession right away. Having said that,MON teams tended to be really dominant in the air. Think of the central defenders alone-Varga,Vega,Valgaaren,Bobo,etc.

When ever one of them shouted-Mine!!!-everyone just left them to it.

That’s what I was thinking Bobby. We seem to over hit a lot of corners but even when we don’t nothing comes of them. And we lose possession too often.

At least with the short corner we have a better chance of keeping possession.

I’m sure John Kennedy is aware and working on it!

Twists n turns

Statistically the % success rate from corners to goals is very low. It used to be around 1.5% but no idea what today’s up to date numbers are.

It also used to be a fact that teams lost a goal from breakaways after their own corners at a rate of 0.5%.

Maybe more success these days with more focus on it but it’s not gonna be much higher I suspect!

Puts it into perspective what Tully did in Feb. 1953 🙂



Apologies for not responding earlier, but was out for dinner.

It is not that I don’t think the Board have an obligation to respond to Res 12. They certainly do. However, the problem is that they had and have much greater obligations than that, but have manifestly failed or refused to fulfill them. At this stage, I have zero confidence that the damage can be undone, or that there is much inclination by our Board ormost fans to do anything about the issues.
Sadly you may be right but if supporters are not angry enough at being lied to by the Board then frankly we deserve being treated as inconsequential.

Lets see how Celtic do respond in public to the reasons for reinstating Res12.

Transparency provides a different perspective.


If we stop Cluj making crosses we will win.

Byres Road Bhoy

BP, Temperature around Byres Road is hovering around 7oC and likely to be wet this evening so disrobing is not advisable. You could always send a cyber Packy in the event Lenny’s troops fall short but let’s hope that contingency does not arise.
SFTB Agreed re our consistent lack of a far post runner and balls headed back across the goal. It’s all the more strange to me considering Lenny has encouraged the likes of Hayes and Morgan to hit the byeline and cross much more often than occurred during Rodgers’ tenure.
Even so, when a winger is running full tilt with a defender in close attendance it’s surely not beyond the wit of an attacking teammate to deduce that the resulting cross is more likely to be hit harder than chipped in with delicacy?
Another variation I’d like to see more often is crosses hit low and hard – particularly as our forwards aren’t particularly noted for heading ability.
These have to be dealt with, often by defenders facing their own goal, or throw up opportunity through becoming loose balls in packed penalty areas.


If I may be allowed a thought on the cross debate. We are utter shite at crossing the ball from open play and set pieces. And even worse at conversion of crosses. Who was the last striker / forward we had that had a decent goal ratio from headers? Who was the last player that could consistently deliver accurate crosses? Could be wrong but I believe that we’d have to go as far back as the days of MO’N when we had the likes of Thomo delivering the crosses and Henke, Hun Skelper Sutton and BBJ converting them. These days a headed goal resulting from a set play is a rarity. Could it be that the aforementioned players were just better than those we have at present or is it more to do with coaching and tactics?

PS having said that no doubt we will score 2 headed goals from a corner / set piece tonight. 😉


Less floaty shite at corners would be a start.
Christie and McGregor are both hopeless at set pieces.
Is it coaching directives that has them lofting the ball with zero pace and purpose?
Martin’s team also had Lubo who could strike a ball properly and had game intelligence.

,big packy

AFTERNOON ALL, oglach I said that to sftb this morning we have not got a Sutton Larson hartson type player at the moment.


I often post about our reactionary play.
Our body posture tends to be defensive.
Witness how often we lose the ball in the central midfield area and end up chasing?
It’s not that guys like Brown can’t tackle but our positioning and posture often make our chance of success 40/60.
We carry the same passive posture at all dead ball situations.
No-one seems to want to show for a throw in.
At corners and free kicks we seem to accept we won’t win the ball so those not in the box adopt passive postures in no mans land waiting for opponents to break.
Neither is a positive stance.
As Twists could tell us a defensive fighter is different from a counterpuncher who uses the opponents movements to launch an attack..
We seem caught in two worlds where in the Scottish arena our confidence and belief overcome a lot of our self doubt but in Europe our opponents often benefit from it.

Awe Naw

Should be a good game tonight I believe that with Forster and Jullien playing tonight we are all together defensively stronger than we were the last time we played them. Additionally the squad is more familiar with one another. Pretty sure there is some real handsome Romanian guy on a cluj blog not a cludgie bog typing the same thing.
Johnjames revealing that the huns had another equity for debt swap last week. 7m
No idea who bought them.


That’s how you score a goal from a cross and how to cross a ball.

,big packy

AWE NAW wisnae me?

,big packy

OGLACH, we could do with some of that tonight.

Awe Naw

Or closer to 12m if they were bought at today’s share price. I’d be surprised if they were that daft. It was the sum that King had to come up with in January so maybe he’s finally committed it.


Attacking the ball in the box?
Now that’s a novel idea.


Awe Naw

I am astonished that they still have equity worth anywhere near £7 million. Who decides what Sevco’s remaining untapped equity is worth and more to the point what eejit would swap money owed for a slice of it? Remind me how much did Chuckles Green buy them for in 2012? and they are now supposedly worth?

Addendum: Charles Green purchased the remains of the decesed Rangers 1872. He later went on to claim that the purchase also included it’s history. For the sake of historical fact it should be pointed out that only in Scotland would such farcical nonsense be treated as reality. Buy something that was once owned by a deceased entity and you can claim you are now that entity – de facto – it never died. no questions will be asked or ridicule poured on you from the truth loving local press.


I’m in 202 KK 1 and 2, just above in next Section. Come and say hi ( not hello, you understand…)!


Celtic have the best disciplinary record in the SPFL to date ranking 12th in terms of disciplinary points received.
98 points resulting from 74 fouls 0 Reds – 8 yellow cards against.

From the (Free) Derry Journal



In other news

Cluj manager Dan Petrescu could miss tonight’s Euro losers tie against Celtic due to illness. The Cluj boss is currently in Glasgow with his team.
Kev ‘no pen’ Clancy has not been given an SPFL game this week in any capacity.
Paul Heckingbottom has been sent a notice of complaint by the SFA following the Hibs V Celtic game on Saturday.


Howdy folks.

Cant wait for the game. Will log off early and watch alone later.
Mornings have started getting a lot cooler. Fall is here as they say in these parts.

No point analyzing the Ibrox mob,,you wont find answers that make sense therefore bent imo.
King persona non grata at Ibrox? Well the other directors should have forced an end to the litigation rather than stack up more debt.
This is bad news for us as they need this title and the Champs league shot that comes with it more than ever.
And as I read at the weekend the honest mistakes have started in earnest.
In fairness the fact that people are still taking chunks of shares shows they believe it’s still a goer,,and they would be in the know.
Been hearing about to go bust for years and years now.
Never happens though and players keep arriving.
I smile and laugh at them sometimes but there’s a lot of wishful thinking and never come true predictions surrounding that club from our fanbase.
I think our board are delighted they take a more prominent role in media reporting also. Infact one might say they love the limelight. Each to their own.
The English press have fallen for the Stevie is doing a fantastic job line though. I hear them gushing praise regular.

Hail Hail

Byres Road Bhoy

Oglach @ 2:40
“Celtic have the best disciplinary record in the SPFL to date ranking 12th in terms of disciplinary points received.
98 points resulting from 74 fouls 0 Reds – 8 yellow cards against.”

And Clancy issued five of the eight on Saturday! A new tactic by the masonic cabal to reduce squad availability given that we face two games a week until after xmas. Or is my paranoia running away with me…?

Awe Naw

Our best corner kick taker and threat is the same guy and he seems to be moving further out the picture. I expect big Jullien to start weighing in with some goals once we can find him


if we lose the league to rangers then you will see the supporters backing res.12.untill then you will only get a few.

its sad but thats the way it is. imo

bada bing1

Kerrydale advertising the huns game tonight, shameful stuff.


Bada Bing 1
Old Firmism is alive and kicking.


bada bing1
Kerrydale advertising the huns game tonight, shameful stuff.
It will only be because former Celtic, Man Utd & Porto legend Saidy Janko plays for Young Boys.

Tongue in cheek CSC

,big packy

BYRES ROAD BHOY im still confident but ill hire a wet suit just in case.?

Byres Road Bhoy

Packy, judging by the weather forecast, you might need the flippers as well! ?

,big packy

JIMTHETIM, I did not forget it was the mrs birthday I realised this morning, crept out of bed went over to aldi bought a birthday card only 50 pence and a box of licorice allsorts only a pound, hey come on shes worth it, you got to splash the cash now and again?

,big packy

BYRES ROAD BHOY, they come free with the wetsuit.???

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