There is almost a hopelessness about Celtic when they head away in Europe to any opposition. Over the years, Celtic has had some hard luck stories, grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.
In our first Europa away outing this season, we managed a very respectable draw in the Amsterdam Arena but it could well have been a victory if Celtic had confidence and could have seen the game out.
The same could have been said in the Fernabace home game when Celtic lead the Turkish side by two goals before surrendering their winning position in two moments of lunacy.
Celtic now find themselves with only 2 points from the first two games when they could have been sitting pretty had they had the resolve to hold onto a lead.
Here come’s the bhoys next test in the form of Norweigan side Molde, who have shown in this group already that they can mix it and come out on top. However, this shouldn’t worry Celtic, they are more than capable of taking the game to Molde and with Norweigan-born Ronny Deila knowing all about the side we’re up against heading to Norway should hold no fear.
This Celtic side knows how to score in Europe, but they have yet to show they can defend when the going gets tough. If they want to be taken seriously, then mistakes, as well as concentration, need to improve dramatically.
Celtic’s defence has been in a state of flux ever since the departures of Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer. Due to injuries and suspension there hasn’t been a consistent back four all season, this has been frustrating for Ronny Deila. With Simunovic still out injured after his big money move it has been up to Boyata, Blackett and Ambrose to fill the gap until his return. Ronny’s ideal centre-back pairing would be Simunovic and Boyata by all accounts and we can’t judge the pair till we see them in action.
Whoever will be trusted at the heart of the defence on Thursday must show courage and resilience to keep the Norweigan side at bay. Celtic has been threatening to win all three points in both games so far, to come away with them in Norway would not be before time.
UEFA Europa League Group stage
Thursday, 22 October, 20:05