As Celtic look to pull off the great escape on Wednesday night I can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the fact that when the Celtic song hits and the players run out the tunnel they will not be running on to the hallowed turf of Celtic Park. Instead they will take their place 43 miles away from Paradise on the Murrayfield pitch.
While many fans were willing to begrudgingly accept taking the first two qualifiers away from Celtic Park to accommodate the commonwealth games, many did not foresee the horror show that awaited Ronny Deila and his Celtic squad when they made the trip to Poland last week. Now that a massive performance is needed along with a Celtic crowed in full voice, it’s a major disadvantage to Celtic that they aren’t in the hot cauldron atmosphere of Parkhead where last year they overturned a disastrous 1st leg result against the unknown Shakhter Karagandy.
As the game creeps ever closer I get more and more nervous about the situation. Yes, Celtic fans will give the Legia team hell on Wednesday but will it be enough to throw them off their game which will be to stifle Celtic from the off. The fans must play their part in the beginning and hope the team respond with an early goal. The longer the game goes on without a goal the crowed will turn from blind optimism to blinding frustration. We did score 4 times against Reykjavik in Edinburgh which gives way to optimism but this will be an entirely different game from when the Icelanders came to the capital.
While I would be more confident going into this game if it were taking place in Glasgow one thing I will never do is count our bhoys out. Sometimes they may come up short but we have seen them dig deep before and there are players in that team who can turn this tie on its head.
If Celtic are to play well Kris Commons has to look sharper and drive the team like he did so many times last season. The player is yet to recapture that form in this pre-season but there is no time like the present!