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2018/19 Champions League - Qualifying Rounds


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1st Legs

Tuesday 7th August, 2018
Astana vs Dinamo Zagreb, 15.00
Qarabag vs BATE, 18.00
Malmo vs Vidi, 18.15
Slavia Prague vs Dynamo Kiev, 18.30
Standard Liege vs Ajax, 19.00
Red Star Belgrade vs Spartak Trnava, 19.30
Benfica vs Fenerbahce, 20.00

Wednesday 8th August, 2018
PAOK vs Spartak Moscow, 18.00
Salzburg vs Shkendija, 18.00
Celtic vs AEK, 19.45

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1 hour ago, Panna King said:

Ajax playing some great stuff, 2-0 up against Liege in Belgium. 

what happened 😮 ?! just seen Ajax let slip the lead and conceded the equaliser in the last minute :( 

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Such a frustrating game. Dominant and creative for most of it, went 1-0 up then conceded a stupid random goal on 44 mins. Spent the last half-hour a man up with zero ideas against a deep block, and zero luck in terms of second balls or deflections. 

Will be a very tricky 2nd leg.

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AEK have to be favourites now. Having to go to Greece, in the heat, and come away with a result is a big ask for Celtic.

There is a lot on the line for Celtic next week, but Rodgers has almost lifetime security after his last two seasons 

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It's a big deal not to get CL football, but ultimately, nobody will think much differently of Rodgers for a narrow loss to a tough opponent. I think it is possible to score a goal there, and if that happens then the game opens up and it's anyone's game, but I think it will take a bit of luck.

It will, however, provoke a lot of talk about how the club has done its business generally. It's great signing Edouard, but ultimately there are no new players in the squad, and it seems like we're only ever linked to players who we used to loan. All of last season it was made crushingly obvious that Ajer needed a proper, reliable defender next to him, and yet Hendry started yesterday in our most important game of the season. Lustig would even have been a better option, but for some reason Rodgers hates Gamboa and we never explore any other RBs.

I've always said that if you do a bit of scouting you can go out and get a good defender for a few million max, but we seem lazy and stingy these days.

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2nd legs

Tuesday 14th August, 2018
Dynamo Kiev (1) vs (1) Slavia Prague, 17.30
BATE (1) vs (0) Qarabag, 18.00
Spartak Moscow (2) vs (3) Partizan Belgrade, 18.30
AEK Athens (1) vs (1) Celtic, 19.00
Dinamo Zagreb (2) vs (0) Astana, 19.00
Fenerbahce (0) vs (1) Benfica, 19.00
Vidi (1) vs (1) Malmo, 19.00
Shkendija (0) vs (3) RB Salzburg, 19.30
Ajax (2) v (2) Standard Leige, 19.30
Spartak Trnava (1) vs (1) Red Star, 19.30

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Was feeling quietly optimistic that we could play as well as last week and have a bit more luck in Athens, but with Hendry staying in and Ajer out I'm far less confident. Ajer would be far more useful trying to break down a deep block, and Hendry imo is just not cut out for handling a match like this. 

Dont like to give up on young Scottish players, but he's not even so young, and to me he's not going to be good enough.

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Been alright creatively and looked close to scoring at times, just lacking the last touch which is forgivable.

Conceding two shit goals is what’s done us in and everyone could have told you it was likely because the issue has been obvious for about 3 years now. Hendry is hopeless defensively and technically, and Jozo is just a bruiser.

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Ajax appear to have sorted things out and lead 2-0 at home against Liege. Then again they led the first leg 2-0....

Spartak Moscow are out in a slight surprise, drawing 0-0 at home after losing the first leg to PAOK 3-2. The 2nd placed team from Greece beating the 3rd placed team from Russia.

Celtic running out of time but they will win on away goals if they can peg AEK back.

Benfica are drawing 1-1 in Turkey against Fenerbahce. Benfica lead 2-1 on aggregate with an away goal. Fenerbahce need two in the last 20 minutes or so to overturn this.

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3 minutes ago, ...Dan said:

How good is Ntcham? This is the first time I've seen him and he looks a good player. I've seen that Porto are after him...

whenever I saw him last season he was just as influential and effective as Rogic in their respective roles.

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40 minutes ago, ...Dan said:

How good is Ntcham? This is the first time I've seen him and he looks a good player. I've seen that Porto are after him...

Very talented player, technically comfortable with the eye to get and create goals, and athletically he's absolutely got the physique to play at the top level with a major club in a top 5 league like Porto.

Personally I feel like he's more of a "moments" player than the type to run a game, but I also think that our system is overly dependent on him unlocking unpromising positions which can make him look like he's out of ideas when he tries something difficult. So often the wingers try a dribble, turn, and play it back to him, and by that point the opposition is fully set and then he either tries a killer pass which fails, or he's forced to shoot. The AEK games are particularly clear examples of this pattern, but it isn't new.

@Cannabis

the club has absolutely been complacent. Spending £5-10 million on one or two centre backs, and maybe a RB would have solved the only serious problem with the team.

Simunovic is a decent defender but he's extremely limited and isn't a Champions League player. Against more direct, less organised sides in Scotland he's fine, but that's it - he's a flat track bully.

I can't even say if Compper is any good but he might as well not be at the club with his injuries.

Hendry is simply an above-average Premiership player. I don't think he'd get in Rangers' or Aberdeens' sides, so he has no business playing in CL qualifiers, and I mean no offence to those clubs. I'm just saying he's painfully above his level. 

Lustig is too old to be playing RB, and even if Rodgers didn't hate Gamboa so much, the club should be out there finding another option in that position besides him. 

One CB with a sincerely good positional sense, and a faster RB, and we most probably get through this tie.

Even with such a weak defense, we were quite unlucky not to progress, so it's painful to imagine what would have been if the defense received the same investment as the rest of the squad.

 

 

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@Inverted you tagged the wrong Everton fan but thanks xD.

I don't have any ill will towards Celtic and obviously it wouldn't be my gut reaction to wish success upon Steven Gerrard up there (though I do try and hope he does well as I think we need a new generation of young English managers to come through but that's another conversation) but Celtic struggling even only for a couple of games does bring interest to the SPL at a time when the microscope is a bit more focused on matters above the border given Rangers' managerial appointment.

Elsewhere, Benfica held on to beat Fenerbahce on aggregate. Relief for @Machado.

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1 minute ago, RandoEFC said:

@Inverted you tagged the wrong Everton fan but thanks xD.

I don't have any ill will towards Celtic and obviously it wouldn't be my gut reaction to wish success upon Steven Gerrard up there (though I do try and hope he does well as I think we need a new generation of young English managers to come through but that's another conversation) but Celtic struggling even only for a couple of games does bring interest to the SPL at a time when the microscope is a bit more focused on matters above the border given Rangers' managerial appointment.

Elsewhere, Benfica held on to beat Fenerbahce on aggregate. Relief for @Machado.

I know you're a close bunch on here :D

Put it down to the Lawwell-induced agitation I'm feeling at the moment. 

 

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Whilst playing shit football...

Luckily Fener are thrash these days. I at first thought the draw had been unkind to us, but any half decent side would have equally beaten the Turks in two legs.

Very worrying times for us as we start another season without a proper goalie.

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25 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Very talented player, technically comfortable with the eye to get and create goals, and athletically he's absolutely got the physique to play at the top level with a major club in a top 5 league like Porto.

Personally I feel like he's more of a "moments" player than the type to run a game, but I also think that our system is overly dependent on him unlocking unpromising positions which can make him look like he's out of ideas when he tries something difficult. So often the wingers try a dribble, turn, and play it back to him, and by that point the opposition is fully set and then he either tries a killer pass which fails, or he's forced to shoot. The AEK games are particularly clear examples of this pattern, but it isn't new.

@Cannabis

the club has absolutely been complacent. Spending £5-10 million on one or two centre backs, and maybe a RB would have solved the only serious problem with the team.

Simunovic is a decent defender but he's extremely limited and isn't a Champions League player. Against more direct, less organised sides in Scotland he's fine, but that's it - he's a flat track bully.

I can't even say if Compper is any good but he might as well not be at the club with his injuries.

Hendry is simply an above-average Premiership player. I don't think he'd get in Rangers' or Aberdeens' sides, so he has no business playing in CL qualifiers, and I mean no offence to those clubs. I'm just saying he's painfully above his level. 

Lustig is too old to be playing RB, and even if Rodgers didn't hate Gamboa so much, the club should be out there finding another option in that position besides him

One CB with a sincerely good positional sense, and a faster RB, and we most probably get through this tie.

Even with such a weak defense, we were quite unlucky not to progress, so it's painful to imagine what would have been if the defense received the same investment as the rest of the squad.

 

 

I've seen a similar story about Gamboa for the past year or so from Celtic fans. 

Did anything happened to have him almost permanently dropped? Especially as Rodgers brought him to the club.

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Oh Rodgers does this. He sometimes decides he hates a player and then totally goes cold on them, barely ever talks to them in training and hates to play them. Rodgers can be a bit of an overconfident dickhead who doesn't think he needs to make any changes to an approach that has worked before in the past. So maybe that's what's happening at Celtic now.

I still expect them to absolutely piss their league.

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8 hours ago, Cannabis said:

Unbeaten for sixteen years domestically then out against AEK Athens, a club that was shut down and formed again in the 00's.

I'm sorry but this is an absolute embarrassment and just shows how far behind Scottish football is to the top leagues. 

You missed out the part where they are the Greek Champions...

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