Helland - check
Levi - ?? ut lan ??
Jevtovic - gone?
de Lanlay - ??
Samuel - check
Nicklas - check
Matti - check
Helmersen - ??
any rumors on who is in or out? I guess most of starting 11 will be preserved, yet center back and back up players need to be found I guess. or would there be an attempt to strenghten the defense & midfield more for champions league qualification?
deLanlay should be fit for fight for 2018; Levi most likely staying; else it sounds about right from what we currently know. Not unlikely that Reitan will continue to be out on loan. _________________ Si ifra når det trengs - www.facebook.com/motfylla
Uefa doesn’t make it easy for clubs from the small countries to give themselves they best chance of success in Europe.
It’s almost as if they don’t want the likes of Celtic.
Rodgers’ team travel to Armenia today to take on NSI Alkashert who won’t be great, but as the Celtic players are some way from being up to speed in terms of being back to full fitness, and it is going to be roasting hot, this is far from a gimme.
Celtic deserve better than this. They have made the group stage two years in a row, the last 16 under Neil Lennon and knock-out stage of the Europa League last time out. They don’t deserve to be seeded and put right into the group stage, but then neither do the fourth-best teams in England, Germany, Spain, and Italy and, yet, that’s what happens now.
Should Celtic get past all four qualifying rounds, and it is possibly the dangerous Rosenburg next, it would be up there with almost anything else Rodgers has pulled off in two years at Celtic Park.
"It's clearly going to be more difficult this year,” Rodgers admitted although he appeared calm and confident when talking about his team’s task.
“It's always difficult and Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila will tell you that three ties were difficult.
"If you think that there is this game and after that, touch wood we get through, then we have Rosenborg in the next game which is not easy. And then you have two more ties after that. It's an extremely challenging period early on in the season. If we had these games in October and November it would be completely different. We have to find a way."
Brendan Rodgers believes Valur Reykjavik’s shock win over Rosenborg on Wednesday night has underlined why the new Champions League qualifying format is more hazardous than ever for clubs like Celtic.
“The Valur win just shows you,” said Rodgers.
“Everyone was probably looking at Rosenborg as being the favourites in that tie but this is a really treacherous period to be playing your games in the tournament.
“Rosenborg are midway through their domestic season as well, so we’ll see how that evolves next week in the second leg. Whoever we play, if we get through our own tie, we’ll meet the challenge.
‘To score a couple of goals late on, as we did in Armenia, is always a good sign of a team’s mental and physical fitness. So, yes, it was a very good result for us and performance at this stage of the season. We’ll never be perfect but it gives us a nice advantage coming to play at home in the second leg next Wednesday.”
Celtic could lose out in their chase for John McGinn unless they cough up around £4 million – with a clutch of English clubs from both the Premiership and Championship beginning to circle the Scotland midfielder. Hibs have rejected two bids from Celtic for the former St Mirren player, the second one £1.75 million – just £250,000 more than their initial offer. Both fall well short of the Capital club’s valuation.
The budding partnership between Dembele and Odsonne Edouard up front for Celtic hinted at an exciting future, as manager Brendan Rodgers again departed from his favoured formation of playing one up front.
Dembele left the pitch late on with a leg injury but it is not thought to be serious and Brown is looking forward to the potential impact the pair could have this season.
He said: “They have got pace, power and pretty much everything you want.
“Defenders will be scared of them and if they keep playing the way they are playing, hopefully we can keep them fit for the rest of the season.”
Twelve months ago Celtic defeated Rosenborg 1-0 on aggregate. The teams drew 0-0 at Celtic Park in the first-leg, with James Forrest netting the decisive goal in Trondheim. Rodgers expects a similar test. He told the BBC:
“They’ve made some changes but the system is very much the same. They play 4-3-3, like to pass the ball. I think they’ll come here, probably similar to last year, be very compact, very tight, try not to concede. They are all challenges at this stage of the season.”
The Scottish champions are still missing key defenders Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig who have not yet returned from World Cup duty while German centre-half Marvin Compper is injured and unlikely to be fit for the first leg.
"Every pre-season there is always an issue with centre-halves.
"Marvin was injured, it's his abductor, so we'll see how that is, but it's highly unlikely he'll be available.
"I don't know (with Boyata) - I'll need to assess that over the next few days."
Rodgers also hopes Dembele suffered no more than a tight leg after he was replaced by Ryan Christie in the 65th minute.
Mikael Lustig has jetted back into Glasgow in order to help shore up Celtic’s defensive crisis although it is thought that there will be no cutting into the holiday time of Dedryck Boyata this week.
Lustig was granted additional time off after playing with Sweden at the FIFA World Cup. The Swedes made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament where they lost 2-0 to England.
The full-back was given time two weeks’ off after playing for the full season. Lustig was back in Glasgow this morning although it is expected that Wednesday’s game against Rosenborg in the UEFA Champions League second round qualifier will come too soon for him.
With Jozo Simunovic suspended for the opening leg after his red-card against Alashkert last week, Celtic have a problem at the heart of defence.
CORK City attacker Karl Sheppard is hoping they can carry their league form into tomorrow’s Europa League third qualifying round first leg against Rosenborg at Turner’s Cross.
Rosenborg are the dominant force domestically and gave Celtic a good rattle before exiting the Champions League.
“We watched them against Celtic and they were very good. They gave a really good account of themselves in the second leg. It will be a tough game, we know that, but if we start playing like we have been, we’ll give them a good go.”
City had chances against Legia Warsaw but couldn’t convert them.
“I think the only thing is to be more clinical. When the chances come – and we had them home and away against Legia, 0-0, 1-0 over there in Warsaw, we had great chances. That is the main thing.
“We look back on the Legia games with a bit of disappointment, knowing that if we went 1-0 up at home or 1-1 away, we really could have seen what they’re made of. But that’s for another day – hopefully Thursday.”
Caulfield was proud of the effort shown by his side on the night but admitted that it this level, his side need to be more clinical in front of goal.
"But I said to the lads, in the second half they gave everything and they were honest and that’s what they have to do.
"You look at the way our league is and you go to Europe and people have high hopes but you come up against teams that are at a different level, slightly better than you and when you have an opportunity to score you need to take it.
"If you don’t, then they’re great on the counter-attack."
Delaney and City will look for an improvement next week, and he is aware of the need to learn quickly from this game, putting the lessons into action.
“You learn lessons, but you have to wait until next year again,” he said, “you wish you could play them every week so people would believe we do belong at this stage.
“We are good footballers and technically and tactically good enough to play these games.
“We are a good side when we press high up the pitch, the lads are so good at it and so honest. It just comes down to fine-tuning it, taking our chances when we have those spells and making sure we don’t give up.”
It is a tough task that awaits city on Thursday when Caulfield’s men have a mountain to climb in the Europa League. Having succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat to Rosenborg in the first leg, a big battle awaits them in Norway to see if they can overturn that two goal defecit.
“We know heading into Thursday we have to play for the next goal. If we get a goal the tie is back on but they can also sit back and force the play on the counter attack which we need to be aware of as well.
“From our point of view we are going out there with a plan to see can we score, we know it is going to be very difficult but you never know. We need to score first to see can we open the game up and that’s exactly what we will be trying to do.
“With the Irish clubs in Europe, it’s difficult to progress especially against teams who have bigger budgets and playing possibly at a higher level but we caused them problems at home and had our chances so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Rosenborg interim manager Rini Coolen is taking nothing for granted, insisting his men will take Cork "very, very seriously".
They are second in the league, a point behind Brann, and were in crisis only a month ago when the sacking of boss Kare Ingebrigtsen sparked a player revolt.
Coolen has steadied the ship since, and remains coy over his ling-term future.
"I think they did a great job at home against us, put us under a lot of pressure going for attacking moments," he said.
"At the same time they gave some space away and we have to use that space a bit better than we did. We expect a team that wants to fight and go for a result. It's up to us to manage that and create more chances for ourselves and score some goals.
Celtic won 3-1 on aggregate, before being knocked out of the elite competition by AEK Athens in the next round, while Rosenborg have won subsequent ties in the Europa League against Cork City and Shkendija of Macedonia.
“It’s funny, because I spoke to the Rosenborg captain [Mike Jensen] on the pitch in Trondheim after we played them and he said ‘Congratulations, maybe see you next year again’,” said Celtic manager Rodgers.
“But it’s just going to be a couple of months. It’s a tough draw but an exciting one in a competition we want to do well in.”
Last night’s 0-0 draw with St Mirren made for brutal viewing, there was so much wrong with the performance and nothing to excuse it, not even being down to ten men.
It took Celtic until match 70 under Rodgers to fail to score in a domestic match, it seems that permanent damage was inflicted at Tynecastle. In 2018 Celtic have failed to score in 10 out of 38 matches.
Since the 3-1 win over Livingston on the opening day of the season the hoops have scored twice in four SPFL matches.
The matches against Hearts, Hamilton and Livingston have been grim viewing, goalkeepers can now expect a quiet time of it against Celtic.
What is causing this is anyone’s guess although there are plenty of options.
The Boyata and Dembele situations weren’t healthy, what other unrest is there behind the scenes?
The bond between dug-out and boardroom is at best fractured, it might even be broken.
Those problems may have cost the club a place in the Champions League but on this season’s form that looks like a bullet dodged. What damage would PSG or Barcelona inflict on this Celtic team?
There is no obvious solution, no quick turnaround.
Will a home defeat from Rosenborg bring things to a head or will a League Cup exit at St Johnstone prompt some action?
Rosenborg could be dangerous, with the club in much better shape than six weeks ago. Amid player unrest, Rini Coolen had just been installed as head coach following the unexpected sacking of Kare Ingebrigtsen. In the nine games they have played since the two met in Trondheim, they have posted eight wins and a draw.
“Listen, they are a good side. Top side over there in Norway and have some good players. We saw that in the recent games. It was unstable there for a while with the manager leaving but, of course winning games can always change that. We know their style. That doesn’t change. It’s actually a nice city to go to. At least you are not going into the unknown; we know what to expect. So, we just deal with it.”
Now Callum McGregor insists Celtic will take the frustrations of Friday out on old foes Rosenborg.
“It has only been a couple of months since we last played Rosenborg but that’s good because we know the way they play. They are in good form so they will fancy it and want to get back at us for the Champions League.
“We’re trying to achieve something so the first game is vital to get the three points.”
As Celtic look towards Rosenborg on Thursday, there are major concerns over where the goals are coming from.
They've lost Moussa Dembele to Lyon, neither Leigh Griffiths nor Odsonne Edouard are 100-per-cent fit and the fact is that Olivier Ntcham, a holding midfielder, is currently the top scorer in the league with two goals. It's hard to believe that after five league games, Celtic have scored one less than Livingston.
It's far from ideal to go into a big European match with a striker who's not firing on all cylinders.