Let me take you back to November 1st last year when a Celtic side still very much trying to find its way headed to Germany.

Having lost in the home tie against Borussia Monchengladbach, Celtic looked to get their own back on the Germans turf, and you know what, they almost did.

The Germans took the lead against the run of play, but Celtic took the initiative and the game to their hosts which would ultimately pay off when the bhoys were awarded a penalty which Moussa happily converted.

Had it not been for a glorious chance squandered by Callum McGregor at the death, Celtic would have walked away with all the spoils but at the end left with a credible point against an impressive side.

The match prompted Brendan Rodgers to lavish praise over his players on the night.

“I thought we should’ve won the game. I thought we were the best team. I’m really proud of the players.”

Which brings me to Wednesday’s tie.

Rosenborg was well organised at Celtic Park and stifled a team with no recognised striker on the pitch. It was a frustrating night, but it was not a damaging one.

Celtic head to Norway knowing they have the away goal advantage, should they score one. They also head over knowing that they’ll see a much more adventurous Rosenborg side, who, if they want to go through, have to score.

The Celtic manager will perhaps be using the Monchengladbach game as an example to his players that we are more than capable of getting a result. No disrespect to Rosenborg but the Germans were a much more efficient and talented side which is also a source of my encouragement.

The qualifiers are the football equivalent of walking a tight rope, one false move and you can find yourself on the ground looking up at the lights. Luckily, we have most of the same players with even more experience to ensure that doesn’t happen. The team that started in Germany that night is pretty much the same to the one that will head to Norway.

Starting XI versus Monchengladbach

It’s up to Celtic to prove they belong.


  1. I enjoyed your article but it seems to miss the key point, namely that we have no fit striker. What is the point of listing the team against Borussia when Dembele is out? The sad fact is that BR’s formation against Rosenborg failed to create chances and failed to get a goal.
    We do have a chance in Norway but our best chance slipped away at Parkhead.
    Further, if as some have suggested, we play Forrest as a deep striker, we shall not create chances again and will probably lose the game.

  2. The truth as I see it is brendan tactics failed at parkhead an example is the best left back winger in the game being stifled by passing the ball back rather than forward and crossing into box

  3. I hope that the Griff makes it but even with him it will be very difficult in Norway. Rosenborg are well into their season and do not concede many goals. They are very dangerous at set pieces, showing our vulnerability to high crosses. This has the feel of the HBS game away. We took a three goal advantage into that one and just hung on. We have no such advantage this time. If they score first we are out.
    All the talk about making the knockout round was way too premature. Qualifying for the group stages of a European tournament is a more realistic goal, IMHO. The team is still being shaped.

    However, if I am totally wrong and we clobber the Norwegians, I shall be delighted!

  4. Celtic were all over them but in the final third of the park just couldn’t find the killer pass and started shooting from distance.. Rosenberg had the 2 best chances in the game .. it was European football personified from Rosenberg but they will need to be more attacking this game and I can see Celtic playing them at their own game and getting the result

    • Kev,

      I think the team is in transition at the momento. Firstly, possibly the best creative player has gone(Roberts). Secondly, Armstrong’s head is somewhere else, at least for now. Thirdly, the midfield is in a bit of disarray as NtCham beds in; the other players learn to play with him, and BR settles on his best midfield.

      Finally, without Dembele we have little to no aerial threat. Little wonder we fail in the final third.

      We shall still be too good for the SPL but in Europe, unless we fix the problems quickly, we shall struggle.

  5. I disagree completely with you and some of your correspondents analysis of the coming game in Norway and that Rosenberg have to come out and attack. Wrong. If you had any common sense like I suspect the Norwegians have in abundance they will stick to the tried and trusted tactics of the first game and work their socks off to frustrate Celtic and rely on snatching a breakaway goal or a penalty shoot out. Why would they want to charge out leaving gaps at the back for Celtic to exploit. The only thing that will change their plan will be if Celtic go two ahead because even at 0-1 they might still feel they can cause an upset. However my personal prediction is that Celtic will be just to good for them on the night.

  6. My God Kev you make it sound like the end of the world. The teams in transition? Whit! They’ve just started. Away and lie doon fur a minute.

    • Frankie,

      I think your comment is aimed at me and not Kev. Tell me why you do not think the team is in transition….with Roberts gone, Dembele and Armstrong probably for the off, a new player, Ntcham settling in, Izzy gone, Gamboa and Boyata injured, and Eric unsettled?

      Good idea about lying down, tho. Never run, when you can walk. Never walk when you can sit, and never sit when you can lie down!

      I hope we can all rejoice late on Wednesday.


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