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Celts suffer hammer blow to European hopes

UEFA Champions League

Celtic Park, Glasgow

Wednesday 19th October 2016

Celtic – 0

Borussia Mönchengladbach – 2 (Stindl 57, Hahn 77)

In a game that was deemed as a must win for Celtic if they were to have any realistic chance of qualifying for European competition beyond Christmas, they were dealt a hammer blow in what was a classy and efficient performance by their German opposition. Inspired by playmaker Lars Stindl, Die Fohlen very much stamped their authority on the game from an early stage and were comfortable in their 0-2 victory. The result means that Celtic need to overcome a two-point deficit against the Germans and a loss in the reverse fixture in just under a fortnight would all but end Celtic’s chances of qualifying for the Europa League last 32 after the New Year.

The German outfit were under no illusions as to the difficulty of the task they would face in Glasgow on Wednesday night, where Celtic had put high flying Manchester City to the sword in a six-goal thriller three weeks previously. Andre Schubert had spoken prior to the game about how his players would need to show a ‘monster’ mentality if they wanted to achieve a positive result against Celtic, particularly as they were missing five key players from their squad through injury. If it was a monster mentality that he sought from his players, then he received a reaction resembling that of Frankenstein. While several top European teams have crumbled before at Celtic Park, ‘Gladbach remained resolute throughout, while expressing the qualities that earned them a top four finish in the German Bundesliga last season.

Celtic had two opportunities within the opening few moments of the game, the first coming inside two minutes when Moussa Dembélé spotted the diagonal run of Englishman Scott Sinclair, whose cross was eventually well claimed by Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer. Less than...
Cautious optimism - Celtic v Borussia Mönchengladbach match preview

Can the Hoops pick up their first win of the group?


The win over Motherwell was business as usual for Celtic at the weekend, now the attention turns to Europe as Celtic seek to pick up their first win of the Champions League group stage. Borussia Mönchengladbach are unfamiliar opponents, with Celtic having never played them in a competitive match. The Bundesliga side currently sit 8th in the table, with 11 points from 7 games. Their league record thus far is 3 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats, with a neutral goal difference, 10 scored, 10 conceded.

In the Champions League, the Germans have lost both of their opening group stage matches, versus Manchester City and Barcelona. A rejuvinated Manchester City, under Pep Guardiola, put 4 goals past Mönchengladbach, with Sergio 'Kun' Aguero grabbing a hat trick. In their next match, against Barcelona, they took the lead, only for Barcelona to come back and win the game 2-1.

Considering Celtic were on the receiving end of a 7-0 thrashing against Barcelona, taking the lead then narrowly losing to Barcelona is an indication of the quality that Borussia Mönchengladbach obviously possess. Celtic did restore pride and belief with a well earned 3-3 draw with the English league leaders
at Parkhead, in their second match. Celtic can possibly count themselves unlucky to have not taken more from that match, but the same could be said of Manchester City. What it proved is that this Celtic squad can compete with the best clubs in Europe, on their day.
3 points in the bag as Celts now focus on Europe

Celtic defeat Motherwell with a goal in each half.
Scottish Premiership
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday, October 15, 2016

- 2
(Sinclair 18, Dembele 87pen.)

- 0

An easy victory for Celtic in a match they dominated. Were it not for the woodwork and Samson, the Motherwell goalkeeper, Celtic would have scored more. The victory kept the Hoops at the top of the table by a margin of 4 points, to continue the march to 6 in a row and Brendan Rodgers' first league title.

Celtic academy player, Liam Henderson was awarded his first start of the season, in the middle of the pitch with fellow Edinburgh boy, club captain Scott Brown. This was one of three changes made by the Hoops boss as Cristian Gamboa replaced the injured Lustig at right back and Stuart Armstrong started ahead of the jet lagged Tom Rogic.

Celtic were passing the ball around crisply at the beginning of the match, with their first chance coming from Liam Henderson, putting the ball wide into the side netting. Shortly after this, Armstrong
had a shot deflected narrowly wide.

Around the 15 minute mark, Moussa Dembele had his first shot on goal when Tierney played in a ball to him, before Dembele opened up his body and fired a curved shot towards the top right corner of the goal, with the Well goalie parrying it wide.

It wasn't long after this that Celtic got the breakthrough. Scott Sinclair received a low driving ball into the box from James Forrest and Sinclair swept the ball into the net to put the...
Celtic vs Manchester City: Match Preview

Hoops all set to face Aguero and co in another classic 'Battle of Britain' tie


Wednesday 28th September, 2016
Celtic Park
UEFA Champions League Group stage matchday 2
KO 19:45
BT Sports

With a fortnight having now passed since Celtic's rude awakening in the Nou Camp, Rodgers' side are preparing for another stern test on matchday 2 of the Champions League, against Pep Guardiola's red hot Manchester City side. Wednesday night will see the first competitive clash between the two sides, with Celtic never having previously came up against the light blues in their long and illustrious European history. This of course is largely due to the fact that City have only recently stepped onto the European scene, almost entirely thanks to the Billions put on offer by Sheikh Mansour, the club's stupidly rich Middle Eastern owner.

Although the Celtic defence will still be recovering from their encounter against the World's best front 3, the task here will only get slightly easier. Sergio Aguero is City's star man amongst a team full of seasoned pro's. The little Argentine is arguably in the same bracket as Luis Suarez when fully fit and firing and will head into this game in exactly that sort of form. Those around him may not be on the same level as Neymar or Messi, however they are still several classes above the type of opposition this Celtic squad are used to facing week in week out in Scotland.

David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Leroy Sane are a few of the added dangers Celtic players will have to be wary of. It is not...
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Saturday 24th September

Kick Off: 15:00

Celtic Park

Celtic TV

Following on from their 2-0 victory against Alloa in the Betfred Cup, Celtic once again turn their attention to the league with a match against Kilmarnock.


For Brendan Rodgers, the build up to this match has largely been defined by a series of selection dilemmas.

Leigh Griffiths returns from injury, but whether or not he'll start the match is subject to much speculation. Moussa Dembele has impressed in his last few matches and it would be unfair to boot him from his starting place immediately. In all likelihood, Griffiths will either be a substitute, or the manager will find a way to accommodate both him and Dembele in the starting lineup.

Next he'll have to decide between James Forrest and Patrick Roberts. With Scott Sinclair having nailed down the left wing role, Forrest and Roberts will have to battle it out for a starting spot on the right side. Going in to the match, Forrest is the man on form, with Patrick Roberts having struggled since returning from injury. However, we all know that Roberts is capable of pulling off something special, so Forrest's place isn't completely guaranteed.

Who will be between the sticks on Saturday?

However, the question of which goalkeeper to should play has been the main talking point going in to this match. Whilst Craig Gordon has been consigned to the bench in recent times, Brendan Rodgers gave him the nod on Wednesday night. Although he managed to keep a clean sheet, something Dorus de Vries has so far failed to do, a reckless tackle on Alloa forward Greig Spence, that arguably should have seen him sent off, will leave...