Celtic seek home care for Lisbon wounds
Celtic’s urgent need at least to avoid defeat against Manchester United on Tuesday deepens the degree of difficulty of an assignment that has seemed as daunting as confronting an angry grizzly bear since the moment the two clubs were placed in Group F of the Champions League.
United’s unexpected defeat in Copenhagen in their last match – leaving the Danes sharing third place with Benfica, just two points behind the Scottish champions – means it is no longer possible for Gordon Strachan’s side to reach the last 16 of the tournament with the six points already in their possession.
Strachan would not have given a thought to the possibility that Celtic’s home wins over Copenhagen and Benfica could have been sufficient for qualification. In common with the overwhelming majority of 0 celine 173823ska 18ccc observers, however, he would have been entitled to $2700 authentic celine trapeze tricolor small black green cream luggage tote bag suppose that Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad would arrive in Glasgow with victory in the Parken Stadium secured and an insurmountable lead over their three rivals already built.
Strachan is certainly astute enough to realise that, in such circumstances, it would be dangerous to fall victim to the presumption that complacency would be United’s travelling companion on the trip to Parkhead.
But, with the job done, a subconscious dilution of players’ usual commitment is virtually inevitable. In addition to which, Ferguson would certainly have exploited the luxury of being able to pick his team with Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday guiding his hand.
As it is, the United manager admitted on Friday that the enormously significant weekend fixture will influence the selection process celine replica handbags, with at least ‚one or two’ players included who have not been regular contributors to their most productive start to a season in the 15-year history of the Premiership.
‚Players like Mikael Silvestre and Gabriel Heinze need games,’ said Ferguson, ‚so they would come into our thinking for the Celtic match. Of course, it depends on how we come out of tomorrow’s game at Sheffield United, how the injury situation is.
‚But I do have to keep the Chelsea match in mind. That’s a very big game for us. In a way, the Celtic match has taken on a significance it probably shouldn’t have had for us. We did think we could win in Copenhagen and that would have allowed us the luxury of qualifying for the Champions League knockout phase with a couple of games to spare.
‚The playing surface when we played in Denmark was $900 new celine coin gold choker costume jewlery necklace medium pretty bad and didn’t make it easy for us to play our normal passing game. But we lost and so we still have a job to complete. Celtic will be a serious test, there’s no doubt about that.
‚We know what a terrific atmosphere their fans create on these big European nights,’ Ferguson added, ‚and they definitely draw inspiration from that support. They make it a hard place for anyone to visit. And Gordon has important players in Thomas Gravesen and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink back from injury.
‚Gravesen is a big $1450 new celine us 8 eur 38 player $2700 authentic celine trapeze tricolor small black green cream luggage tote bag who plays big matches. He’s been at Real Madrid, he’s been in the Premiership with Everton. So, although I may make one or two changes to our team, you can be sure that everyone who plays will be very experienced.’
Vennegoor of Hesselink and Gravesen were unquestionably missed during Celtic’s rather timorous capitulation in the 3-0 defeat by Benfica in Lisbon on $2k celine spring their last outing. For Strachan, the three-week gap between the European fixtures has been a mercy, allowing him time in which to have the Dutch striker and the Danish midfielder restored to fitness.
The manager and his players deny that any psychological damage was sustained at the Estadio da Luz, but, while they have continued to dominate the Premierleague, it seems legitimate to infer from the blandness and generally unconvincing nature of their performances since their return from Portugal that they were adversely affected.
In the context of the United match, Strachan will be encouraged by his team’s proven capacity for neutralising the harm they have suffered on their travels with irresistible performances $550 celine purple satin pumps shoes size 10 on their own turf. Losing their opening match in Manchester left them at the bottom of the group, since when they have climbed into second place. Ferguson’s team, however, are $800 celine reddish colors 4′ logo clogs covered with emblems e37 6 palpably more formidable than either of the two previous visitors and will test Celtic, who have lost only one of 11 Champions League group matches at home.
In pursuit of his objective, Strachan will also rely on one of football’s oldest conundrums: that man-for-man superiority does not, by definition, assure the favoured team of victory. ‚Of course, Manchester United, as a whole, have better players than we do,’ he said. ‚But that doesn’t mean we don’t believe we can beat them. United have better players than just about every other team in the Premiership, but they don’t always beat them, either.
‚I think Paul Scholes is truly exceptional, the best midfielder in England through the past 30 years. I think you $890 celine black leather brown snakeskin $1190 new celine sz 38 pointy toe loafers women’s sz 40 flats have to go back to Bobby Charlton to find the last one as good. But I’m not going to spend hours and hours talking about Scholes. We have strengths, too, and, for us, it’s a question of getting enough of the ball to exploit those strengths.’
Celtic’s meekness in Lisbon is too fresh in the mind to allow towering optimism over their prospects. But the possibility of United’s being distracted by the looming showdown with Chelsea is a factor that should not be underestimated.