Celtic v Denmark; what the form guide says about our Champions League meeting
Celtic will meet FC Midtjylland in the Champions League second qualifying round.
When the news was confirmed yesterday, it was to a mixed response. Galatasaray might’ve been the more glamorous opposition. Celtic and Rapid Vienna have some history, it’s fair to say. But the side from Jutland are new foes for the Bhoys, in what’ll be Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive fixture as Celtic boss.
There was some obvious trepidation. Memories of our defeat to Copenhagen in 2020 are still raw [BBC], with the Bhoys collapsing in the Europa League round of 32.
But what does history say? Yes, the Copenhagen loss is still memorable, but Celtic actually have a decent record against Danish opposition, overall [Euro Cup History].
In 14 matches against Danish teams, Celtic have won half. Admittedly, those wins weren’t particularly recent. A 1-0 win over Copenhagen in 06-07 was cancelled out by a 3-1 loss (how familiar) in the next meeting. Aalborg beat Celtic 2-1 in the 08-09 Champions League group stage, with an 11 year break before our next meeting with Danish opposition.
However, in the earlier days of the European Cup, Celtic were dominant. Aarhus, Boldklubben 1903 and Vejle BK were all put to the sword, with the 65-66 season hosting the first meeting between Celtic and a club from Denmark.
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Perhaps the most convincing Celtic win against a Dane club was a 4-1 win away to Aarhus in 83-84, and there’s no doubt supporters would love a repeat of that scoreline on the 27th or 28th of July.
However, this Midtjylland side are no mugs. They qualified for the Champions League last season, drawing a group of Atalanta, Ajax and Liverpool. A creditable draw against the Reds was probably the high point, with Erik Sviatchenko’s side only amassing 2 points in the Group Stage.
They have threats, though. Anders Dreyer and Pione Sisto on either flank are a handful for any side, while midfield engine Cajuste is representing Sweden at Euro 2020.
“[Celtic are] a top-class team in Europe. This can be seen in both their budget and coefficient points, but we believe in the possibility. We believe we can beat them. It will be two really cool battles of life and death, where we really have to go out and fight for it.
“Of course we have an opportunity to beat them, and we must do everything for that. They are known to always fight and work hard, but we have some of the same qualities and we can push them physically. It will no doubt be two wild matches with everything at stake.”
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