Celtic now know they will start their Champions League against FC Stjarnan from Iceland.
With Social media as it is within minutes of the draw we got every bit of information we could ever need on the our Champions League opponents. Although we see the facts and figures on our computer screens and they dispensed of Motherwell as well as Lech Poznan in the Europa League qualifiers last season it doesn’t change my mind that Celtic should breeze through this qualifying round.
They were beaten a resounding 9-0 on aggregate by Inter Milan after doing so well in the early qualifiers last season. The Inter Milan that we pushed during the last 32 tie back in February of this year. If it hadn’t been for a slow start and a rare Craig Gordon slip-up then we may have pushed them even closer.
You will hear the old cliches come out from some pundits in the run up to the game. The kind of default comments you hear all the time when lazy journos describe teams they know nothing about – “They’re well organised” and of course “they’re no mugs”. Well to that I say, Celtic ARE well organised and we ARE definitely no mugs and that will see us through the tie.
After last seasons double whammy Ronny Deila has more experience and knows what his team are capable of. Don’t get my confidence in Celtic confused with arrogance or a lack of respect towards our Icelandic opponents. It’s simple confidence in this team and their fitness levels, which shouldn’t have dropped too much with such a short close season.
I often approach games with trepidation as many other Celtic fans do saying on several occasions we may be the only fans in the world that worry about getting past an Icelandic team 6th in their domestic league but fancy our chances against a Barcelona or Real Madrid in the Champions League proper. This time I’ve purposely chosen to look at the positives of our side and not fearing the unknown as we look to make our mark in Europe.
I’m looking forward to this new campaign and hope Celtic can start as they mean to go on. Getting into the promise land of the Champions league and bringing those special nights back to Paradise should be incentive for each and everyone of those players.