Danish ex-Celtic defender Marc Rieper gives Bhoys tactical hint ahead of Midtjylland bout

By Euan Davidson

July 20, 2021

Former Celtic and Denmark defender Marc Rieper has offered some tactical advice to the Bhoys ahead of tonight’s meeting with FC Midtjylland in Champions League qualifying.

Rieper was signed by Wim Jansen in the summer before Celtic stopped Rangers’ 10IAR bid. Unfortunately, injuries got the best of the Danish defender, who retired at 32 [Celtic Wiki].

Still an enthusiastic follower of Celtic and Danish football, Rieper had some insight for the Hoops. Speaking to Celtic FC, Rieper said:

“I’d say Midtjylland are more focused on playing a passing game, playing more open, pressing high up the pitch – all of which goes in your favour when you’re confident and playing well.  

“Last season, this wasn’t the case for Midtjylland, that was a shame from their perspective and it cost them an automatic UEFA Champions League place.

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“They’ve got some great players. Celtic fans know their captain Erik Sviatchenko really well and he played really well last year. They’ve got some adventurous players too, who perhaps didn’t perform quite as well as they would have liked [last season].”

Some interesting parallels, and tactical insight from Danish former Celtic man ahead of FC Midtjylland Champions League test

It sounds, from all we’ve heard [67HH YouTube], that Celtic and Midtjylland met similar unfortunate circumstances last season.

Neither could get the best out of important senior players, conceded the league despite the strength of their squad, and are now undergoing a period of transition with a new manager.

Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

It’s interesting, though, that there’s also a similar philosophy shared by both sides. Ange Postecoglou favours an open, passing game, with a high-line. That could afford both sides some opportunities tonight.

With centre-back Alexander Scholz leaving Midtjylland [FCM], the Danish side are also going through their own defensive issues. A loss against OB showed frailties, and this could well be a closer tie than many will expect.

Bo Henriksen may play it safer tonight, but fans will be demanding a continuation of the pressing, high-line shape that worked for Midtjylland in seasons prior. With his side lacking sharpness, there could be opportunities for Celtic’s faster players.

Either way, these are two teams in similar circumstances, both of whom need a win to kick-start a transitional campaign.

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