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uefa cup predictions


makkie
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People like Lennon, Guppy and Hartson are average Premiership players. If they were up for sale now there's actually probably only Lennon that would guarantee premiership interest. However in Scotland they're stars.

They're a mid-table PremierLeague team and at Ewood we will win. However a lot depends on how we handle Parkhead. As Rovers fans will be outnumbers 20-1  :unhappy:  the atmosphere is likely to be intense in their favour and after the capitulation at City and especially in Sofia we could have problems. It's another night for players like Neil and Taylor to show they've not only got the ability but also the bottle to make it at a high level.

If Duffy was playing I'd be confident. As it is I wouldn't like to call it even though I believe we have the better team. I agree we need to score at Parkhead though, any defeat with us not scoring and i fear that's the end of it.

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Not having Duff at Celtic Park is a huge blow- they are terrified of him and I´m sure the noise of the crowd would have changed once Duffer had a decent run at their defence up at Parkhead.

Having said that we can now play Dunn, Flitcroft, Tugay and Thompson which should give us control of midfield possession and begin to quieten the crowd.

The crunch will come in defence where we need Short to have one of his massive games and play Larsson out of it. More defending like we have at times in the Prem this season and Celtic will put three past us in no time.

However, whilst we are playing Arsenal at Highbury, Celtic are at East End Park against the team lying third in the SPL (yes, the might of Dunfermline Athletic). When Celtic this week-end strolled 4-1 past a Hearts side that would struggle in English div 1, we beat a team which (unlike Celtic) have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League 5-2; an equally large margin.

That difference in opposition class week in week out gives the Rovers a huge advantage. Just as players such as Curtis and Clement and half the Man City side look world beaters in Div 1 and are found wanting at Premiership level, so Celtic have a number of significant weaknesses which the SPL does not expose but a half-decent Prem outfit will relentlessly find.

I´m going for a 2-0 win for the Rovers at Parkhead and Souey out-psyching O´Neill.

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I predict score draw at Parkhead (1-1 / 2-2) and narrow victory at Ewood (2-1 / 3-2). 2 very hard fought games though, good to watch with both teams going for it for 180mins.

Love to see Duff, Cole, Jansen, Yorke, Thommo, Dunn play against the very tall but slow celtic defenders!

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However, whilst we are playing Arsenal at Highbury, Celtic are at East End Park against the team lying third in the SPL (yes, the might of Dunfermline Athletic). When Celtic this week-end strolled 4-1 past a Hearts side that would struggle in English div 1, we beat a team which (unlike Celtic) have qualified for the group stages of the Champions League 5-2; an equally large margin.

Its nice of the SFA to arrange a few

warm up friendlies for celtic before the first leg isn't it !!

Seriously though, it will be a tough couple of games and

a test of character.

Too close to call.

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We should go up to Celtic and get a nil-nil. Shut them out for the first 20 then take it from there. Five across midfield with Egil up front.

Having said that though, we're about as predictable as a sex-starved ferret down a fat woman's tracksuit. 2-2, Celtic snatching a draw at then end.

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If Duffy was playing I'd be confident.

Thanks for the compliment, though I very much doubt that my inclusion on the team sheet would make much difference  :D   Seriously though, having Duff back would be a huge boost for a big match.  I'd like to say that over the two legs we'll win (just been feeling very positive about this one since the draw was made) but given my track record for score predictions it is almost certainly safer for me to say a 1-1 draw at Celtic in the first leg and then ... we'll see.

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Bryan - a 0-0 away result would not be a lgreat result. In Europe these days away goals are proving more crucial than ever. If we drew 0-0 we'd probably have to score at least 2 in the home game as there's no way we'll keep Larsson & Sutton quiet for 180 minutes.

Waggy - i know what your saying about our European home form but I think this game will be feel more like a traditional English cup tie than a European one due to the atmosphere. Still, when was the last time we won a cup tie at Ewood when the opposition brought a large following??

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Look at the Sofia game. Because Sofia scored and it was 1-1 it meant we had to score in the away leg and forced us to be more attacking (not that we need forcing). Obviously 0-0 is better than any defeat but I feel our chance may be in the away leg when Celtic will come at us all guns blazing.  Our game won't be and can't be to soak up all celtic pressure. We'll just collapse a la City. Best to go at them and try and win the game.

I'm sure Celtic will score over the 2 legs. If the first leg finished 0-0 this means that we'd have to score 2 at Ewood.

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I know what you mean - Souness is always going on about how one of his sides could never play for a draw.

Personally though, I'd initially play with 5 in midfield and one up front in Glasgow, and hope to nick a goal. There's no reason why we'd then have to score 2 at home to go through apart from the fact that we're Rovers and we love to give our fans a heart-attack.

Which is why I was saying that it should be 0-0 in Glasgow but will probably end up being 2-2 ;)

And then we'll presumably draw the home-leg 1-1 with Sutton scoring after a minute and then Grabbi equalizing in the 93rd.

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Hasta - 0-0 would be a brilliant score. However, I reckon we'll score at parkhead. Certain to.

It's just a matter of how many they score. 1-1 would be absolutely ideal. Favourites to go through, while enticing a full house in front of one of the best ever atmospheres at ewood.

Here's hoping. I do get the impression though, that the hoops fans are underestimating us. Unfortunately though, I don't think the team will.

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I have a feeling Rovers will score inside ten minutes at Parkhead then have to withstand great pressure from Celtic, probably 1-1 at half time. Celtic to take a 2-1 lead and, hopefully, Rovers to come back for 2-2 in the final minutes.

I think it very unlikely there will be a clear winner over the two legs, the successful team being decided on away goals or even penalties. My heart says Rovers but my head tells me this game is very unusual and too close to call. Aside from going into the next round Celtic have a massive point to prove; how will our players react at Parkhead? our leaky defence; and we have the attacking players to really get at Celtic. Should be two great games.

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It is vital we score at Celtic as I don't think we'll shuit them out for 90 minutes.  It'll probably be 2-1 to them as they will have a massive advantage from the crowd.

Which means that it'll be finely balancedat Ewood.  We should be able to beat them but knowing Rovers...

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The biggest problem we'll have when we play Celtic is the pace of the game. Scottish football is renowned for being much quicker than the English game and in the two games against CSKA we struggled when they started to zip the ball around at pace.

On another note I get the feeling that Celtic think they'll walk this round for some reason. Whether it be the media or fans rhetoric it's the feeling I’m getting. Comparisons with Spurs before the cup final,

'little blackburn' and 'well they've been to a cup final bless em'

Come on Rovers let's continue the low profile and hope it ends in triumph.

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I think ParkHead will be tough but we can do it!!

Maybe 1-1 or 2-2. Ewood we will win!

Its going to be tough but we are capable of it!! Lets just hope are defence doesnt go to sleep this time!!

Oh and id rather have ours except for Larson for Cole any day!

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Thought you may be interested in a Celtic fans view?

I agree with most of you....I think it will be two tough games...very tight scorelines at each leg. Also, like most of you...I think my team will sneak it....but that comes from the heart, not from the head. Truth is, it's impossible to predict.

A few of you have commented on the difference in the league standard having an effect....I don't think that will be a factor. If anything, it makes Celtic players hungrier for the big games like this.

Some of you reckon Celtic are not that great, they look good in a poor Scottish league....but remember, we took 9 points from our Champions league group last year....beat every team at home the whole season...bar one draw with rangers and a loss to Ajax which was effectively meaningless as we had the tie settled in Amsterdam with a 3-1 win. In the league, that home record may not be impressive, but victories v Juventus, Valencia, Porto and Rosenborg tell another story.

Martin O'Neil has built a solid, well organised team. They don't have the flair of Celtic teams of the past.....but are very difficult to beat. I think over the course of a 'Priemership' season, Celtic would struggle to be near the top....but in a one-off game they are capable of beating anyone.

Just to comment on someone elses previous post, Guppy, Hartson and Lennon are not 'stars' in Scotland. Hartson can't get in the team. Only recently Guppy has broken into the first team and Lennon is a good reader of the game, mostly reliable but not a 'star'.

Also, someone mentioned that the vibe from Celtic is that they are very confident on this....I disagree...the mood up here is similiar.....we are all looking forward to it but reckon it will be very tight.

So...to summarise....my prediction......two hard fought, tough games....tight scorelines with both teams scoring home and away.....as for a winner......we'll see !!

Cheers :)

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For me the outcome of the tie hinges on the first leg, I am stating the obvious you may say.

I can see Rovers either leaving themselves a mountain to climb in the second leg or securing a scoring draw up in Glasgow, I can't see anything inbetween happening.

Like afew others, I also feel that missing Duff is a huge blow, as I believe Duff is the one player Celtic fear, however we still have several top quality players in our ranks, whom if they hit it off we could win this tie in the first leg, the key to this is a good start to dampen the atmosphere, killing it before it has even got going.

Also I believe the referee is a key person in the first leg, a week foreign ref could be disastrous, as he could be influenced by the size and noise from the crowd, thi wont be as much of a poblem at Ewood(though it will still be like a Celtic home game :) )

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Predictions aside, I think leadership will be very important for the first leg. The massive number of Celtic fans will probably make some of our younger players feel uneasy. I think experienced players like Short, Flitcroft and Cole need to be on the pitch rallying the troops. This is going to be one special game and I hope that Rovers won't come away empty-handed from Parkhead.

Enjoy. Just wish I could be there.

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Just to comment on someone elses previous post, Guppy, Hartson and Lennon are not 'stars' in Scotland. Hartson can't get in the team. Only recently Guppy has broken into the first team and Lennon is a good reader of the game, mostly reliable but not a 'star'.

In that case i stand corrected. However i could probably name you only 3 more Celtic players as to be honest the media coverage of games from Scotland in the national press down here is minimal. Because Lennon, Gupppy & Co have gone up from England I think the English press give them slightly more attention hence my belief they were 'stars'. Cos let's be honest, if guppy's a star then there's something amiss.  :<img src=:'>

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