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Celtic’s Champions League Pot Four Position Makes Even Third Place Difficult To Attain.

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The Champions League qualifiers have thrown up some interesting scenarios, but none of them will fundamentally alter our trajectory.

We’re going to be a Pot Four team and we knew we would be and we knew what that meant. Above us are twenty-four teams and almost all of them are in the elite bracket, which is what comes from the Big Five leagues getting a minimum three teams apiece.

The Champions League is massively imbalanced.

That won’t change any time soon. The gap between the mega-clubs and the rest is only growing. Those top five leagues are filled with the best players because they have the most money.

For a club like ourselves, we’re pushing a boulder up a hill.

I never wanted people to get too carried away by the Ibrox European run, because it convinces some folks that we should be aiming to do the same. It’s totally unrealistic to expect us to accomplish, in the Champions League, what they did last year.

Because the calibre of teams we are likely to have to face in that draw far exceeds anything they came up against on their run. People talk about the strength of Dortmund and Leipzig, but there’s a reason those two sides were in the second tier competition when they faced Ibrox and not the top one. They weren’t good enough for that level.

We are almost certainly going to face a Group of Death, a group where six points is an achievement and anything more is a minor miracle. The nine points we took from the Europa League last season – and for which we get no credit at all – would be a stunning performance in that bigger competition and no critic would be able to deny it.

I am a realist. You look at the quality even in Pot 3 and you see that we’re massively outgunned in almost every way. It’s part of the beauty of this tournament, of course, part of the romance of being an underdog going toe-to-toe with the big boys.

But it’s important to stay grounded.

It would be smart, in light of those momentous challenges, to temper our expectations.

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6 comments

  • Johnny Green says:

    I can accept that there are better teams in the CL Groups than we are supposed to be, but there is no way that I am prepared to temper my expectations. I still expect us to win in every game we play and give our all attempting to achieve those victories. What I will temper is any disappointment caused by defeat, that is just being realistic after the event, and, provided we have made a decent fist of it, our effort and application, there will be no criticism from me,

    • Fat8mike says:

      Well said. Too many go to European games with the conviction that were going to get thumped. There is no team that will out work us, and even if its 0 points losing every game 4-3 at least its better than defending for 6 games trying not to get beat and try and nick one. This will be a good year

  • Tom Foolery says:

    Maybe we’ll draw Frankfurt from pot A which, although still tough, would give us a bit more of a chance. But it’s going to be real tough whatever way the draw pans out. What i’m mostly curious about is whether Ange will change the system or not. I fear if we go into the games with the same formation and tactics that have been deployed since he arrived we’ll lose all 6 games. Either way i’m just going to enjoy the occasion and hope the bhoys do us proud.

  • Charles says:

    Seville – Inter – Sporting Lisbon. 3 teams from cities where our European history was made. What a draw that would be for us.

  • Geoff says:

    Actually scared what will happen every time we get caught with our full backs in no mans land at that level. Last season in Europe was embarrassing but this could be a whole lot worse.
    Anyone who thinks they don’t need to change the way we play against the quality we are going to face is delusional.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I share your fears Geoff, we should approach those matches with a lot more caution. As I said before, there has to be a happy medium that we can adopt and I hope we can find that balance.

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