Artmedia (H) Preview

Last updated : 01 August 2005 By Kevin Smith
Celtic v Artmedia Brataslava
Champions League Second Round Qualifier
Tuesday 2nd August 2005
Celtic Park
Kick Off 7.45, Live On BBC Scotland

If Celtic are to perform the miracle of winning tomorrow night's game by more than five goals, it will be recorded as the greatest comeback in European footballing history. That is the size of the task ahead.

Nobody on Earth predicted a 5-0 defeat last week and it was a shambles of a night where everything went wrong. We have given ourselves the most difficult of tasks for tomorrow.

Looking at Artmedia, they are nothing special. They seemed to score with every shot they took and couldn't, themselves, believe what was happening. It's not as if we are playing AC Milan or Real Madrid, so the task is certainly do-able.

Our defence needs sorted. I don't believe, after Motherwell on Saturday, that we can go through a single 90 minutes without conceding a goal, as every time someone attacks us, they look likely to score. I believe Bobo Balde will come back into the starting line-up, and hopefully we can cut out the stupid defensive mistakes which are costing us goals.

We are going for goals, therefore must play an attack minded side. Who knows what Gordon Strachan has in mind but I would play Beattie from the start, along with Hartson, Maloney, Aliadierre and Zurawski. If this means dropping Lennon and Petrov then so be it. We need goals and it's time to start making some tough decisions.

If we can get a packed Celtic Park and an early goal, it certainly is possible. The fans must play their part tomorrow, in the past we have scared teams like Barcelona and Juventus, surely a team of unknowns from Slovakia will fall at the Parkhead atmosphere.

Realistically, I don't think we can do it. I believe we will win the game comfortably, but I cannot see us failing to concede. Prove me wrong, Bhoys.

Come On The Hoops Prediction: Celtic 4-1 Artmedia