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Celtic vs Manchester City: Match Preview

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

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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.


Celtic:

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.


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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...
Celts swat swarm of wasps

Celtic through to League Cup semi-final after defeating Alloa Athletic 2-0

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Betfred League Cup quarter-final
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

CELTIC - 2
(Forrest 83, Dembele 90)

ALLOA - 0

Sheer determination from a well disciplined Alloa side, made for a frustrating night for the Scottish champions. Playing 2 divisions below Celtic, many bets would have been placed on a large Celtic victory, especially considering how impressive Brendan Rodgers' side have been domestically.

Celtic dominated possession all match, but were wasteful with their opportunities. 71% possession, 14 corners, 34 shots but only 11 on target for the Hoops showed that Celtic struggled to break through a resolute defence, while also being wasteful in the final third.

Much like the weekend game in Inverness, Alloa's goalkeeper, aptly named Parry, deserved his man of the match award despite conceding two late goals.

At the other end of the field, Craig Gordon was involved in a moment of controversy, with Ex-Celt turned pundit, Chris Sutton stating that Gordon was guilty of 'a kung fu kick' on Greig Spence. The pundits on TV stated that Gordon was lucky not to see a red card, with the referee deeming a yellow acceptable.

With Gordon being dropped in favour of new signing De Vries recently, this was an opportunity to reclaim his number 1 spot, but mistakes like that won't help his cause.

When the goals eventually came, Celtic's 1st came from a counter attack, beginning with a lovely cross field pass from Ryan Christie. James Forrest found the ball on the right flank, before cutting in, dribbling across the 18 yard box, dodging player after player, before shooting back on himself with his left foot,...​
Barcelona 7-0 Celtic


Celts taught a footballing lesson in tough return to the big time

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Tuesday 13th September 2016
Nou Camp
Barcelona, Spain
Champions League Group Stage matchday 1



Celtic were subjected to a crushing defeat on the opening night of the Champions League as an inspired Barcelona side simply carved them open time and time again at the Nou Camp. By the end of the night, Celtic players were left out on their feet as a total of 7 goals were smashed past Dorus De Vries in nets to give the Hoops their heaviest ever European defeat. It was a rude awakening for a side who were flying after a brilliant derby win against Rangers at the weekend.

The task of going to the Nou Camp and coming away with a result is never an easy one, though. This is in my opinion anyway, the greatest club side the world has ever seen, mainly due to the devastating 'MSN' trio up top. All three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar got themselves on the scoresheet as the back 5 of Celtic were left bewildered at their movement and intelligence with and without the ball.

As mentioned there, Rodgers set his men up in a 5-4-1 formation from the outset for the first time this season, after only previously deploying it during the final 20 minutes away to Be'er Sheva in Israel. It was a move which did not really surprise many beforehand as playing against a side such as Barca with all the attacking threats they pose, you will have to concede the ball and defend deep in your own territory for large periods. In theory, it was a good plan and on another night it might have worked. However,...
Celtic smash the league's newest club

Newly promoted The Rangers are blown off the park by the Scottish champions, in the first ever league meeting between the two sides.


SPFL Premiership
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday September 10, 2016

CELTIC - 5
(Dembele 33, 42, 83, Sinclair 61, Armstrong 89)

THE RANGERS - 1
(Garner 45)

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It was a joyous day for Celtic as the team completely dominated the SPFL new boys, with new signing Moussa Dembele grabbing a 'perfect' hattrick, scoring goals with his head and both of his feet.

The Rangers, clearly inferior in quality, sat deep, hoping to absorb the Celtic pressure before trying to catch the champions on the counter attack. The Bhoys were looking for an early goal, but the visitors managed to stand firm.

That was until the 33rd minute, when an corner came in, Dembele's movement left him unmarked and he powered a header in off the post.

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Parkhead erupted as Celtic got a deserved goal from their domination of the game. It only took another 9 minutes for Celtic to double their lead. The Rangers' slack passing was pounced upon and a through ball to Dembele saw him dribble with the ball into the box, before cutting the ball back past Senderos, chipping a ball into the corner of the net with his right foot.

Dembele, starting because of an injury to the free scoring Leigh Griffiths, was giving Brendan Rodgers a selection headache that every manager wants. Which of his superb strikers does he play?

Two minutes after Celtic's second, Sevco pulled a goal back, briefly lifting their hopes. A...