Celtic v Leverkusen: “If we bring our best performance, I’m sure we’ll get a result,” Starfelt

Carl Starfelt, it’s safe to say is still trying to find his feet at Celtic after being thrown in at the deep-end at Tynecastle the day after he arrived in Scotland. He had just one quick training session and that’s hen he got the chance to meet his new teammates, most he’d have struggled to remember their names as Celtic ended up losing the season opener to the newly promoted Edinburgh side.

The over-cautious Celtic Board could have completed his signing quicker but apparently wanted to wait until they had sold want-away Kristoffer Ajer before spending the money on Starfelt. The hidden cost was awaiting at Tynecastle – three dropped points.

Celtic v FK Jablonec – Celtics Carl Starfelt Photo: Jeff Holmes

Starfelt has had his critics since then as he has played alongside different central defensive partners. His freakish own goal in Holland against AK Alkmaar – after Joe Hart and Stephen Welsh had combined to gift the Dutch side a major lifeline after Celtic had taken an early lead through Kyogo to go 3-0 up in the tie. Starfelt, Welsh and Hart all rallied in the second half against a high quality Dutch side to hold on for a 3-2 aggregate win. Remember the away goals rule is no more so one more slip-up and we’d have been in real trouble that night.

When you think about it we scored 3 against both AZ Alkmaar and Real Betis (away from home and with a weakened team) so there is no reason to think that Celtic can’t find the back of the net this evening against Bayer Leverkusen.

The key to success though will be whether Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joe Hart can combine to keep them out at the other end. If we can get a back four that is hard to score against then this Celtic team can go places and fear no-one.

Carl Starfelt of Celtic FC during the UEFA Europa League Group G stage match between Real Betis and Celtic FC at Benito Villamarin Stadium on September 16, 2021 in Seville, Photo Jose Luis Contreras

Starfelt spoke to the Mainstream Media yesterday, with the season-ticket money banked the Celtic fan media remains excluded, even though the questions to for instance the Celtic manager would never be condescending, unlike those being fired at Postecoglou by the hacks who are desperate for the Australian to raise a white flag in the title race in favour of the mob down river. Ange’s response to that is making news around the world this morning and no doubt he’ll remember being told that “these people are not your friends” when he first arrived.

The Swedish defender gave his view on Celtic’s opponents this evening: “They are a great side – they’re second in the Bundesliga and they’ve started the season really well.

“They’ve got some really good players so it’s going to be a big test for us, but we know we are really strong at Celtic Park, so we will go out there and enjoy this big challenge,” he said.

It’s worth noting that the position a team is in in its domestic league is almost always immediately referenced in these type of interviews. Leverkusen players therefore must be scratching their heads, then asking Jeremie Frimpong what the hell is going on at Celtic who are sixth in the Scottish Premiership. If Frimpong knows perhaps he’ll be good enough to tell us!

Starfelt though eyes a win over the German side this evening, and quite rightly so. We are Celtic.

“Obviously it would be a big win and it would be a confidence boost, so we’ll go out there and do our very best and no matter what, we looking to turn this around and we hope to start tomorrow. We need to get back and get a good run of results, and that’s very important for us.

“We’re very confident that we can beat anyone at Celtic Park and with the fans behind us, we know we’re strong.

 Raith Rovers Reghan Tumilty  battles with Celtic’s Nir Bitton  and Carl Starfelt during the Premier Sports Cup match at Celtic Park,  Thursday 23 September  2021. Photo: Andrew Milligan

“It’s going to be a tough game, they have very good individual players, but we will go out there and if we bring our best performance, I’m sure we’ll get a result.”

Watch his Mainstream Media conference below…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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