Champions League Matchday 3 Thread

Benfica v Celtic:

Nuno Gomes is out of both matches against Celtic.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6996038,00.html

therock67 wrote:

Benfica v Celtic:

Nuno Gomes is out of both matches against Celtic.

http://football.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6996038,00.html

Struck down by an irate manager due to his chronic lack of goalscoring prowess?
Not sure if that’s a good thing. This guy is pants, think jugs when he had that falling over game…

He’s not up to much usually but he scores loads for Benfica. Not sure whether Adu is much better.

We’re going to struggle on Wednesday night if Hartley’s not fit. I rate Evander Sno but he seems to have regressed a lot since last season. Maybe that knee ligament injury he had over the summer’s still affecting him but he looked off the pace in all the games he’s featured in this season. As a result, an away CL tie is not the place for him and he shouldn’t play on Wednesday.

Mick’s fractured jaw is yet to be confirmed but he was knocked out and fully unconscious so he won’t playing one way or the other. I’d like Caldwell to come back into the centre alongside O’Dea and I have no idea who can play right back with all the injuries. Kennedy would be less at home over there than O’Dea so maybe it’ll be Darren who has to fill in there again.

Possibly:

Boruc;
O’Dea; Caldwell; Kennedy; Naylor;
McGeady; Donati; Brown; Jarosik;
Nakamura; McDonald;

I generally hate fooks who say, ‘I’d take a point now.’ But in this case I’d tend to agree with them.

It’s a really scratch team but don’t know what other options we have. I see you have Naka in the free role and that’s possibly the best place for him. Either way I agree with the implication in your selection that we can’t play Jarosik up top with McDonald and leave McGeady and Naka as the wingers. That’s not a strong enough midfield (physically).

The other option is to have McGeady up top in that free role.

Yes, that was meant to be a 4-4-1-1 despite the way it looks. Physical strength was the main reason I have an extra body in midfield. McGeady might be a shout for the free role actually but I think Jarosik’s definitely done enough to stay in the team.

Milan lost at home to Empoli today (and in doing so fooked up my accumulator) and it’s a terrible start to the season they’re having. They’re at home to Shakhtar on Wednesday and it’s a really big game for them now with the Ukranians on 6 points and Milan having lost at Celtic in the previous round. I don’t know what result would suit Celtic best but it’s shaping up to be quite intriguing.

I reckon a Shaktar win would suit us best. If Milan win then we are likely to drop a place even if we beat Benfica. Shaping up to be a high points scoring group anyway.

McManus looks like he might be ok for Benfica:

McManus cleared for Benfica trip
21/10/2007 - 17:10:41

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Celtic have been handed a massive boost ahead of their Champions League match against Benfica after skipper Stephen McManus was given the go-ahead to travel to Lisbon.

The Parkhead captain suffered a head knock during Saturdays 3-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox and left the park on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask after losing consciousness.

He spent last night recovering at home after being released from hospital and will now join the rest of the squad at Glasgow Airport tomorrow morning ahead of Wednesdays match.

A statement on www.celticfc.net said: Doctors were happy with the results of the tests carried out on Stephen and his progress will be monitored by the Celtic medical team over the next few days.

United flew out to Kyiv today rather than the day before so they can get over the travel. I can only see a United win as Kyiv already have been beaten by Roma and Lisbon and United are starting to play some good stuff.

I’m amazed McManus has been deemed fit. This must be right up there with England’s Brave John Terry (“EBJT”) overcoming a broken neck, cheekbone, an amputated left leg and syphillis to play for Chelsea the other week.

Wise to travel a day early to Eastern Europe alright but that didn’t help Celtic in Donetsk. That said Manchester United have a better away record than us. Actually pretty much everyone does.

Have Celtic even got a draw in the group stages away from home. I think that 10 points would get a team through so if you can nick a draw in Benfica and win the home games then Celtic will have a great chance to qualify.

Terry is an idiot. The fella obviously needs to rest up before he becomes a cripple. After reading Bret Harts book he reminds me of the dynamite kid who wrestled through numerous injuries and now is in wheelchair the rest of his life.

Christmas present for John Terry

http://www.disabilitiesbooks.com/assets/images/choosing_wheelchair_big.jpg

[img size=300]http://www.emerchandise.com/images/p/SOP/pdPOSOP0004.jpg

Captainshan wrote:

Have Celtic even got a draw in the group stages away from home.

Once. Away to Barcelona in 2004/05. :shock:

Agree with larryduff that we’ll need a decent tally to go through. Some groups get riddled with draws and I think the huns got through with 7 points (1 win, 4 draws, 1 defeat) a few years ago but with Shakhtar jumping out I think we might need 10 points rather than our usual 3 home wins so in that sense Wednesday is crucial.

10 points doesn’t guarantee you get through either though I can’t recall anyone ever going out at the group stages on 10.

I’d take 1 point from Lisbon, 3 would be ideal and 0 would leave us really up against it for qualifying.

Ben Haim has grown on me but obviously the story is that he’s not rated reliable enough to slot in for big games, and so the risk on Terry will usually be taken. It paid off in Valencia anyway.

McManus, Hartley and Hesselink have all travelled according to BBC. The previously reported missing, Bobo Balde, was also on the plane and apparently Pressley is back to fitness now too and travelled. :frowning:

I was worried Pressley would come back in the middle of the injury crisis to “solve” our problems. Still we’re not too short at centre half with Caldwell, Kennedy and O’Dea all fit and McManus a possibility. One of those will have to play full back I’d imagine but it still leaves us with enough centre halves to cope.

Good news on Hartley and Big Jan.

I’m starting to get irrationally confident ahead of this game. There’ll surely be a reaction out of the side after Saturday and it’s a boost to have the players coming back. Hartley must start if he’s fit but I can see Jan coming off the bench late on. Benfica had been having a bit of a blip in the league of late so I’m off to scout them for a while.