Dec 4, 2007

Celtic Needs To Make A Point, Nothing More

A single point from today's group stage finale at AC Milan will be enough for Celtic Glasgow to advance to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The trip to San Siro comes at an opportune time for Gordon Strachan's men; The Rossoneri are an even .500 (7-7-4) in Serie A and Champions League competition this season and have not won at home since Oct. 24. Unfortunately for Celtic, Milan has a decidedly better record in Europe (3-1-1) than they do domestically (4-3-6). In fact, they have yet to win at San Siro in Serie A action, yet in the Champs League they have a perfect home record.

Even if Celtic do lose they can still advance to the elimination round if Shakhtar Donetsk do not beat Benfica in Group D's other game tonight. Though Benfica are eliminated from the next stage of the CL, they can clinch a spot in the UEFA Cup as the third-placed team in the group with a win. So it's not like Freddy Adu & Co. have nothing to play for. As for Celtic, they can do no worse than the UEFA Cup. There is no way for the Glaswegians to drop to fourth place.

AC Milan will be without striker Ronaldo, who aggravated an injury while warming up at Benfica last week. Left-backs Marek Jankulovski and Serginho are injured so Daniele Bonera will likely start in defense. Celtic are missing defenders Lee Naylor, John Kennedy, Mark Wilson and Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe.

Group D's games are being held at this advanced stage because of AC Milan's commitment to play in the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan later this month.


  1. It's also worth pointing out that celtic have a 4 point goal differential advantage while being 4 points ahead. So, even a loss by celtic and a win by shaktar doesn't mean, nessesarily, that Celtic are out of the CL.

  2. I'm pretty sure it does. Right now Celtic have a three point lead over Shakhtar:

    the tie breakers are "(a) higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question, (b) superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question..." (again that's taken from

    Celtic and Shakthar split their two games but the Ukrainians have a better goal difference (+1) than Celtic (-1). Which means Shakthar can overtake Celtic if they win and Celtic lose...