I’ve been a little preoccupied in recent weeks with a variety of personal matters so I’m afraid my blog has taken a bit of a hit (did you even notice?). Thankfully, I’m back just in time to write something for some upcoming, high profile fixtures (applause).
On Wednesday Celtic return to Parc des Princes to face PSG. It’s been more than twenty years since they were beaten by a solitary Youri Djorkaeff goal in Paris.
I’d like to think that the Bhoys could get a similar result tomorrow night in the Champions League to save our blushes, but I fear that is an unlikely scenario. PSG might be through to the knockout phase already, but they’ll want to finish top by beating Celtic and not having to rely on the final group phase match against a resurgent Bayern Munich.
Celtic shouldn’t be too concerned by this match. A match they cannot win.
To bust their nuts in Paris, less than a week before a domestic cup final would not be smart. What they want to do is turn up on Wednesday night, give a good account of themselves and get home physically unscathed.
Having already been beaten 0-5 at Celtic Park in the opening game of the group phase, we already know PSG are a team in ascension. They can be devastating home and away and I’d rather we didn’t stand in their way.
Brendan Rodgers will want to see less of a drubbing like the rest of us of course, but I think there has to be some consideration about the games that lie ahead. The big Champions League game for Celtic comes two weeks later in Glasgow against Anderlecht.
That IS an important fixture. It can earn us a place in the last 32 of the Europa League ensuring European football after Christmas.
Between the penultimate and final Champions League games for Celtic, are three matches against Motherwell. The first of these will be the League Cup Final on Sunday at Hampden.
So it’s another busy period for Celtic which started with Saturday’s 0-1 win at Ross County and will see the Hoops play 12 games in 6 weeks. That’s one midweek game as well as a weekend game right up until the end of the year.
If any club in Scotland can handle that then it is Celtic. There are injuries, but there is also a good squad to be utilised.
With so many important fixtures before the winter break the Bhoys need to knuckle down and get the results. A Europa League spot, a domestic trophy and a continuing unbeaten run are on the pre-2018 agenda.
No pressure then. We’ve already seen this team of invincibles under Brendan Rodgers break a club, Scottish and British record, but there is much more on the horizon as well.
We’re only in season two under Brendan Rodgers and this team haven’t even peaked. The challenges are plentiful and Celtic show no sign of letting up.
A superb Leigh Griffiths free kick won the weekend’s torrid match at Ross County. It wasn’t Celtic’s best display but they ground out a result again.
Ross County proved to be a physical and stubborn opponent. They perhaps got away with a little too much in my opinion but I won’t let that deflect from what was a good display by the Staggies.
Celtic may have been keeping something in the locker for PSG. I don’t expect anything from this game though.