A Circled Squared

Spartak Moscow – A Profile


So just who are Spartak Moscow? Did our previous encounter tell us much? Considering a different Celtic side turns up every week it cannot be inconceivable that Spartak Moscow will be the same. I caught up with our Russian mole Dmitri Smirnov and, after a glass of traditional Russian Vodka, we spoke about his countrymen Spartak. Heres the key points from the meeting.

So Dmitri, you’ve been watching Spartak closely for us ever since the draw was made, seeing that they’re already out of the competition, will they come to Glasgow with any purpose?

“Yes, they want to beat Celtic, pure and simple, In Moscow there are no meaningless games. With Spartak in disarray this is a perfect opportunity for players such as Ari, Welliton, Emenike, Kallstrom and your very own Makgidi to show what they can do on the big stage and possibly play for a winter move to a bigger league.”

How do you think Spartak will line up then?

“Well I’d imagine Dykan will start in goal which will be very good news for Celtic fans, this boy has lost all confidence and so have his defenders. What is worrying for Spartak is that he is actually their best goalkeeper, the other two don’t come close to his ability. Dykan will concede goals as his defence as just as shaky as him. They will probably go 4-3-2-1 with Carioca and Kallstrom sitting allowing De Zeeuw to float between McGeady Welliton and Emenike. Romolu may start in midfield if Spartak fancy attacking from the offset but I’d expect a cagey start from them.

So Spartak will settle for a draw?

“No, as I said earlier, Spartak want to win, they see Celtic as the team who put the first nail in their European coffin with the 3-2 win in Moscow. I think however their ideal scenario would be a 1-0 win. They know it means nothing at all but they still want to compete. They’d accept a 0-0 draw late on in the game but they are expecting a Celtic backlash.”

Who do Spartak fear the most in the Celtic line up?

“Unfortunately for Celtic, Victor Wanyama. He bossed the midfield in Moscow and they had been preparing a bid for him before the draw was made for the Champions League. Wanyama is everything a modern Russian team wants. Strong, Powerful, eye for a pass and a rocket of a shot. Behind Wanyama would be Georgios Samaras, He caused them all sorts of problems last time and scored the winner. Spartak play with no width unless its higher up the pitch with Makgidi so the full backs will be told to stay back to counter Samaras and Commons.”

Spartak have recently sacked their manager, are the players playing for Karpin?

“Well it was Karpin who signed a lot of the players, or he’s been certainly here. He did have an unsuccessful spell before going on the board and now hes back. It’ll be interesting in actual fact on Wednesday because when he was in charge at first he preferred Makgidi and Kombarov on the wings with 2 strikers. Kombarov has been floating in and out of the team at the moment but he is far from first choice like he was with Karpin in the first time. Regarding the rest of the team? They have no reason not to play for the manager. He was the one that signed them of course.”

Right, Dmitri, you’ve downed the vodka, time for an answer. what will the score be?

“errrrmmm….ok Bruce. Spartak have nothing to lose and will play testimonial football and will play free flowing football. Its not their fault if Celtic don’t qualify. However, despite the Wanyama loss, Celtic are at home and the fans will get behind them and I’m sure Barcelona will take care of a poor Benfica side. Its all down to Celtic. For the first time in this group stage the pressure is well and truly on Celtic. They will respond positively and win 2-1. Thanks for the opportunity to speak to my Scottish Comrades and remember. Votska Putin!”

Dmitri then crawled back into his cave for Christmas. He did however leave me one more pearl of wisdom. A betting slip which reads:

“Willski Hillski Glaskva Celtic 2-1 Spartak Moskva”

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