"Ange Postecoglou's side are on fire"; Commons predicts European dreams for Celtic

By John McGinley

February 14, 2022

Former Celtic attacking midfielder Kris Commons thinks the club should be targeting an extended run in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Celtic play Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt in a two-legged tie over the next two Thursday for the chance to make it into the last 16 of UEFA’s new tournament.

It made not hold the glamour of the Champions League or even the Europa League, but it’s still an exciting stage for Celtic to play their football on.

And Commons think they could go far.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Conference League is a big opportunity for Celtic

Writing in his Scottish Daily Mail column today [14/02 print edition, Verdict supplement page 11], he said: “Some people might look at Thursday’s game and get a little bit sniffy about how it’s only the Europa Conference League, the third tier of European competition. But so what? You can guarantee there will be pretty much a sell-out crowd at Celtic Park. It will be a great night and a great occasion to be involved in.

“Celtic should be targeting a good run in this competition now. Looking at some of the other names left in the last 16, you’ve got Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City, Marseille and PSV Eindhoven. That would be a good level of opposition to go up against, if Celtic can take care of business against the Norwegians first of all.

“Ange Postecoglou’s side are on fire at the moment, playing at such a tempo and ferocity that they are simply blowing teams away domestically. If they can carry that into the European arena, who knows how far it could take them?”

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The fact is that Celtic haven’t won a non-qualifying knockout match in Europe since 2004. So we need to immediately reverse that trend against Bodo/Glimt before getting ahead of ourselves.

However, I can’t really disagree with Commons here. I’m excited about this competition and I think there is a real route towards the deeper rounds.

If Celtic can play on the European stage as they did against Rangers recently, we could genuinely make a statement. I think it all has the potential to capture the imagination of supporters too, starting on Thursday.

In other news, Karamoko Dembele returns from long-term Celtic injury with 90 minutes of action.