Fingers Crossed


Welcome to another exhilarating night of Zadok The Priest and the most raucous atmosphere,perhaps,in football. We certainly know how to turn it up to eleven on a European night at Celtic Park.

Tonight has to be one where we convert that support,that powerful racket,into points. While it is true to say that a draw last week in Germany would have been a decent result,a 3-1 reversal on the night most certainly was not. It might even be difficult task to match them,much less better them,on the head-to-head.

In a group like this one  where it is becoming incredibly tight as we all look up at runaway leaders Real Madrid,a win can provide a huge turnaround in fortune. To do so tonight would put us level in second place,and it is what is required of us.

A defeat would wreck our hopes of second place,and make third a very difficult proposition too. A performance like we saw in the first half against Real is probably needed,but keeping it up for the full ninety.

But then,I doubt that any of you need this pointing out to you. Nor do AP and the players. One thing I reckon we can be sure of tonight is 100%  effort. None of our players will be coming off that pitch wishing that they had just tried that little bit harder.

In football,you rarely get anywhere without graft. But that on its own is nowhere near a guarantee of success. Insert your own percentages in the inspiration/perspiration chart,because we are going to need plenty of both on the night!

But let’s forget about that head-to-head for a moment. It will only become relevant in the unlikely event of a tie between us and RB Leipzig anyway. Why overcomplicate things when the most important thing-by a distance!-is the three points. We can bounce the permutations about later,but ONLY if we get those three points anyway. No three points and we could be out on our ear entirely.

Which,as I mentioned earlier,I am sure that AP and the players are well aware of.

So how do we go about bettering a side who so comprehensively hammered us on the break last week? Well,a start would be to prevent those breaks in the first place. Some better protection for the defence than last week is a minimum requirement. Ange likes his own ideas on how the game should be played. We know that,and are rather partial to enjoying it too. But it can all unravel so easily-as last week-when the players forget their own role in the system.

Last week was a shocker,but should also serve as a wake up call. Yes,we were holding them until Joe’s howler,but we had already seriously underperformed in various departments by then,and just couldn’t quite get it all to click.

In addition,we had lost our captain by then-due to an unforced error from him in the first place-and were missing our two first-choice centre backs. I get all that,but the team news  for tonight is hardly an improvement. Yes,CCV is back,having hopefully got any ring-rustiness out of his system on Saturday. But Starfelt is still out,CalMac will be missing till after the World Cup,and just to add insult to injury,it looks as though we will be missing Jota.

There are no updates on him,other than that he missed training and will be looked at in the morning. That doesn’t look promising for later in the evening,and makes predicting a side in advance of the results a bit of a lottery.

A bit like predicting the team on Saturday in the absence of CalMac! I doubt that anyone would have picked that starting eleven,but we got the result in the face of the usual thuggery and mibbery. Three points,job done-and a good few scunnered huns into the bargain-works for me!

Anyway,just for a laugh-and to give my sisters palpitations-here goes.

Jura and Jenz will return in defence. Bernabei,who was excellent on Saturday,will retain his place.

Up front,I would go with Abada,G-Mak and Haksabanovic. I like the way the latter can drop deeper when needed,and I’m confident he can bring an overlapping Bernabei into proceedings.

Two of the midfield,Reo and Matt,are picking themselves these days and could probably do with a rest. They will maybe get one in a month’s time,though I suspect Reo will figure in the Japan side in Qatar. So who makes up the eleven?

IMO,it has to be Abligaard. He hasn’t been particularly impressive for us yet,but then,he has hardly had any game time with us. When he has played,he looks tailor-made for the deep midfielder-he knows the position,can read the game and tackle. Additionally,and most importantly,he has a lot more pace than either Mooy or McCarthy.

Our back five need to be tight-yet adventurous. Our front six need to run their socks off to get the early lead and retain it. If they have nothing more to give after,say,seventy minutes,that’s fine. We have five substitutes available and raring to go.

We need all TWENTY named players tonight to be raring to go. A win is an imperative. Let’s show this manufactured vanity project what it means to be up against a proper side in a proper football venue.

Sure,we can shake hands after the game. Until then,no mercy. For the full 90+ minutes.

Fingers crossed,indeed!


Above article by BMCUWP

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Put them to the sword from the off.

In terms of selection I’m not sure Ange trusts any of his def mid “specialists” to start- maybe to close out a game, but not start.

I predict a mid three of Reo at the base with Matt n Sead.
Up top, if Jota is unavailable I could see Liel, GG and…Kyogo.

I wouldn’t get too uptight about the head to head scenario. Two home 1-0’s and we have footy after Christmas, assuming RM don’t falter.
The Europa would offer potential for goodness knows how many games post Christmas. A last 16 in the CL would likely be a chastening experience for this young team.

We’ll see. Three points would be a perfect birthday gift for this Bhoy.


Good Synopsis BMCUWPS…

Don’t like gambles when the stakes are so high but as things stand – needs must.

Therefore agree, Abligaard and Bernabei play, with CCV back to provide backbone, they shine the three points could be ours…

Easy this football management malarkey, if you know your A, B, C,


Hail you

Jobo Baldie

Good morning, friends and Happy European Matchday.
A good read Bobby and it certainly is difficult trying to anticipate who will start for us tonight.
Just by way of stimulating the discussion further (I hope) here are the headline MOTM stats from our 3 European games so far this season –

So, the top 5 players receiving POINTS for the game against Real Madrid are –
McGregor – 5 pts
Hatate – 4 pts
Giakoumakis – 3 pts
Juranovic – 2 pts
O’Riley – 1 pt
Hart*: 4
Juranovic: 22 Carter-Vickers: 11 Jenz: 9 Taylor: 8
McGregor*: 65 Hatate*: 47 O’Riley: 18
Abada: 2 Giakoumakis: 26 Jota: 2

So, the top 5 players receiving POINTS for the game against Shakhtar Donetsk are –
Hatate – 5 pts
Taylor – 4 pts
Carter-Vickers – 3 pts
McGregor – 2 pts
Jota – 1 pt
Hart: 5
Juranovic: 4 Carter-Vickers: 27 Jenz*: 17 Taylor*: 47
McGregor: 19 Hatate*: 49 O’Riley: 5
Haskabanovic: 1 Kyogo: 0 Jota: 18

And so, the top 5 players receiving POINTS for the game against RB Leipzig are –
Welsh – 5 pts
Kyogo – 4 pts
Taylor – 3 pts
Jota and Juranovic – 2 pts each
Hart: 2
Juranovic: 18 Jenz: 10 Welsh*: 51 Taylor*: 36
McGregor: 1 Hatate: 15 O’Riley: 2
Maeda: 1 Kyogo*: 37 Jota: 18



Lost my original post, here goes again.

Put them to the sword.

I don’t think Ange trusts any of our def mid “specialists”, so my take on selection is Reo at the base, Matt and Sead.

Up top if Jota doesn’t make it, I can see a wildcard- Liel, GG and…Kyogo.

I’m not too hung up about head to heads. Win both 1-0 and see where we are. Hopefully RM keep focus.
Should ensure footy after Christmas- more games in the Europa I’d suggest than a chastening experience for this young team in the CL last 16.

Three points isn’t too much to ask for a birthday present today.🥳


Against a side that will inevitably play through us at times is there an argument to be had for not playing that holding six position? Would anybody put it past Ange to start the same midfield as the past weekend? If Jota doesn’t make it do we look at Kyogo off the left with Giakoumakis through the middle? Who’d be a boss!

The brand new Celtic Sports Bar will be open from 4-7.30pm for pre-match food and drinks, enter via the Kerrydale entrance. Entry is on a first-come-first-served basis upon presentation of a valid matchday ticket. The bar will then re-open post-match on the final whistle and will be open for one hour.


Prestonpans, opens at 4pm? Scandalous.

bada bing1

15k fine from UEFA for banners



You’ll be glued to a bar stool somewhere by then,mate. I hope!

I wouldn’t think that too many people will be queuing to get in at that time,makes it a long shift. Mind you,we all did longer shifts than that for midweek games in our youth.


Mick, don’t know where I’m watching the game. Decisions, decisions. 😁

St tams

I would be happy with that team.

Prestonpans Bhoys
I wasn’t going to publicise that the new sports bar was open , the less amount of people that know, the better chance I have of getting in. 😁



Like yer thinking. I won’t be asking where it is,then.


I think tonight is my niece’s first Champions League game,and on the back of her birthday yesterday too. She’s no stranger to European football,of course,but it has always been,till now,Europa League.

Let’s hope The Bhoys give her a belated birthday present to remember!



Sorry buddy – The omens aren’t good – Leipzig are far too strong for us in mid and attack, whereas our attack on a good night could destroy their defence. They are ‘odds on’ for a good reason. ( Celts 23/10)

Having watched Shakhtar Donetsk away at Leipzig and Madrid, they could also run us around and match or better the ‘head to head’

Having said that … Paradise under floodlights is just made for these situations.

What chance our veteran Jamesy to come in and match his significant Euro contributions ( Karagandy, Rosenberg, Lazio…) to grab vital late goals?

Paddy Power has him 7/2 anytime and 12/1 last scorer.

Bet sensibly folks…

A thing of beauty

I think we have to accept that Ange will not change and operating a specialist 6 in midfield is not for him. If it was he’d have given Abilgaard or McCarthy a run out on Saturday. He is determined that plan b is doing plan A better.
I read an interesting article about club Brugge who have been whipping boys for the past three seasons but this season in the champs league appear to have found their feet. It may be it’s that way for us and we’ll take a few scuddings to get better in the future. I’m ok with that. I actually think we have a plan now as opposed to just sitting deep and hoping for a break. I know I’ll feel differently at 10pm tonight stuck on the M8 after another patronising pat on the head from another European team but it is what it is. I’ll just dream of 2025!!
Given all that I have said I therefore don’t understand why we signed either Abilgaard or McCarthy. Crazy.


From Optus Sports Twitter.
This is why Ange Postecoglou is adored by #CelticFC fans 💚

🗣️ “If the team doesn’t do well, they’re going to be miserable all week & you’ve been directly responsible for it.”

The Bhoys boss chats nurturing coaches, European nights & a new 🇦🇺 pathway in our #OptusSport Original


If you want a laugh, this is old but gold. A few swear words!!
The ending cracks me up!!


From Lisbon Lion On Twitter.
On this day in 1930 Celtic defeated Rangers to win the Glasgow cup. The Hoops had a man sent off, a goal chopped off but fought on to win. The Herald’s headline was ‘Rangers lose Glasgow cup’ 🙂


That man is a Nostradamus. He has superpowers.


Look at this.
Glenafton v Darvel. The player doesn’t even get his dive correct, but ref is still fooled.
Player should be banned for this
This is from Mikey Kennedy on Twitter
Not great from me being sent off on Friday night, but watch the full video and make your own mind up

St Tams

I’m working from the opposite angle. Highlight the new Celtic bar is open then the bhoys can stop drinking in the Oak bar, been hammered since Kerrydale went corporate👍

16 roads

No disrespect to Leipzig,nor anyone else for that matter but Celtic are giant.

They’ll understand this themselves when the Celtic support brings the noise.

HH. 🍀

Big Audio Dynamite

16 roads,

But for geography, we’d be the biggest club in this universe.

HH 🍀

Big Audio Dynamite

The Tic 2 v Leipzig 0




But for geography we might not exist.



I too think Liel GG Kyogo up top could be tonight’s roll of the dice. Reo as back marker. Matt n Sead in front.

Any victory will do. I’m not too concerned re head to heads.
A whipping in a last 16 round in CL could be a chastening experience for our young team.
Better a couple of games in Europa, and who knows?
All about incremental development.
Footy after Christmas would achieve that.

A thing of beauty

I posted about tonight’s game earlier today and it’s disappeared. Happening a few times these days. Hope it’s not personal 😂😂


I get the feeling James Forrest starts tonight.


That would be no bad thing if he played at his best! 🙂


I’ve lost posts too over the last few days.

Did wonder if it was selective😀



My only fear of starting both Kyogo and Giakoumakis is who plays up top when they inevitably both tire? I like the idea of Maeda and Forrest being used later on to stretch the game with their pace and direct play.



Fair point. The 60/65 min change makes us light up top.

A decent third striker in the squad would help, as would a “creative” mid a la Tam Rogic and another dominant CH.
All on the wish list to add proper depth, but some trading required before then.

Jobo Baldie

Good afternoon, friends.
Just 4 hours till kick off and the excitement is already starting to build inside this old man. I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone that you are all welcome after any or all games to join in the fun on the old Player Of The Year thingmyjig. You don’t need to be an active poster on here and there’s no registration involved. Anyone and everyone can simply send me an email after the game nominating the 3 players (not in any particular order) that you feel performed best. We all have opinions and, for this poll, everyone’s are equal. Just look at last weekend’s game when poor wee Liel Abada only secured 1 single vote (that’d be from yours truly!) despite playing his heart out.
The more that join in, the more representative the poll becomes. The largest poll this season was after our 5-0 demolition away to Kilmarnock on 14 August. With your help and support I’d love to beat the 88 that emailed me for that game.
So, here’s to an ever bulging inbox following the final whistle tonight! SENCELPOTY@GMAIL.COM



Certainly not personal,I am neither brave nor stupid enough!

I found it in the filters and have reinstated it.


Thanks for the response earlier. I completely agree with you as far as Bankier goes. A total waste of space. As for Blue Peter? We’re just gonna have to agree to disagree. 😀


Good leader. I’m not so sure what team will take the field tonight. Whatever the team let’s get those 3 points

Mon The Hoops.

Hail Hail.


CFC et al

I check the filters every couple of days and reinstate those that have just been caught up.

Unfortunately,admin isn’t time stamped,and the reinstated post simply reverts to the time it was written.

Happens to me as well-often!



The big Greek is normally good for ninety minutes. Tonight is starting to have the feel of one of those ‘I was there nights’. 5-3 to the good guys!


Hope you’re right Maccargo, we could be doing with a lift like that! 🙂

Mike in Toronto

VideoCelts are reporting that last season, the SFA handed out retrospective reds to Celtic opponents, when Referee Don Robertson ‘missed’ the call during the actual games …..

As a reward for his good work, he has been appointed for Celtic’s league cup match against Motherwell ….his third Celtic game in 10 weeks.

He is clearly an up and comer in Scottish football …all he needs to do now is send off a few Celtic players, and he could make head referee in the not too distant future.

He probably doesnt want to develop a reputation for not sending off Celtic opponents, so to show that he is fair and impartial, he will almost certainly send at least one Celtic player to an early bath in the League Cup game.

Just remember when it happens, who told you first ….


It’s aw the fault of BMCUWP. The man is a menace to polite society.



I’ve probably just guaranteed a 0-0 nae fitba! lol



GG is one of our more “ physical” units. I have no qualms about his indomitability.

Ah 5-3, a “Berserker”performance. That’d be a throwback.

James McMillan got a classical piece out of the Partizan 5-4, I think.

Jobo Baldie

Assuming no late fitness concerns I’d say that there are only 3 definite starters tonight – Hart, CCV and Hatate. What about the remaining 8 places?
Juranovic or Ralston? I’d say Jura
Jenz or Welsh? I’d say Jenz
Taylor or Bernabei? I’d say Taylor
The other 2 midfielders? I’d go with O’Riley and Haksabanovic
The wingers? I’d hope for Abada and Jota (but if Jota unfit it could be Wee Jamsie, albeit on the left).
The striker? I think the starting striker will only play the first 65. I’d go with Gio.

So, Jobo’s starting 11 are –
Juranovic, CCV, Jenz, Taylor
Hatate, O’Riley, Haksabanovic
Abada, Giakoumakis, Jota/Forrest



Jobo Baldie

As CFC has commented I’m on full berserker mode so I’m going with Hart, Bernabei, Jenz, Carter-Vickers, Juranovic, Hatate, O’Riley, Haksabanovic, Kyogo, Giakoumakis, Abada.

Jobo Baldie

maccargo – we agree on 9 out of 11 then. Would you change anything if Jota is fit?

Call me Gerry

Jobo @ 5:35

You might be very close with that team.
If all eleven are fit to start, that is.

If Jenz or Taylor aren’t fit, then Welsh & Bernabei are the obvious replacements.

I think Ange will start with the same midfield as the weekend, with Haksabanovic at number 10.

I reckon he’ll go with Jota, Kyogo and Abada if they’re fit, keeping GG as fresh legs later in game.
If Jota is out, Ange may go with Maeda, or move Haksabanovic wide and play Mooy/Abildgaard in centre midfield.

So my guess at Ange’s team..

JJ – CCV – Jenz/Welsh – Taylor
Hatate – O’Riley
Abada – Kyogo – Jota

My team?
JJ – CCV – Jenz – Taylor
Hatate – O’Riley
Haksabanovic – Kyogo – Jota

With Abada in, if Jota injured.



Teams up…confirmed as Hart, Taylor, Jenz, Carter-Vickers, Juranovic, O’Riley, Hatate, Haksabanovic, Maeda, Abada, Kyogo


No Jota on the bench either…

Call me Gerry

Team as expected then. 👍


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