Having shocked Celtic with a 3-1 first-leg win in Glasgow, Norwegian champions Bodø/Glimt will be confident of extending their remarkable 2021/22 European campaign into the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 as they welcome the Scottish side to the Arctic Circle.
• Bodø/Glimt went unbeaten through their UEFA Europa Conference League group in the autumn, yet their 12-point tally was only sufficient to give them the runners-up spot behind Roma, sensationally beaten 6-1 by Kjetil Knutsen’s side in the Arctic Circle on Matchday 3. Celtic, meanwhile, won three and lost three of their UEFA Europa League group games and were confirmed in third place after a 3-2 defeat at section winners Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 5.
• Bodø/Glimt’s first official meeting with a Scottish club was a memorable one as they emerged from their winter break to claim only their second European away win this century. New signing Runar Espejord made a dream debut by scoring after six minutes, Amahl Pellegrino doubling the visitors’ lead ten minutes into the second half. A headed goal on his European debut from Celtic’s new Japanese striker Daizen Maeda reduced the deficit, but two minutes later Bodø/Glimt made the final score 3-1 with a first European goal from midfielder Hugo Vetlesen.
• Celtic had played 12 times previously against Norwegian opposition before this tie, ten of those games against Rosenborg including six, all without defeat, in the past five years.
• Celtic’s overall record against Norwegian sides is now W7 D2 L4. Away from home it is W3 D1 L2, with clean sheets in their last three matches. The Bhoys have won all three of their two-legged knockout ties against Norwegian sides, in each case with Rosenborg their vanquished opponents.
• Champions of Norway for the first time in 2020, when they stormed to victory by 19 points, Bodø/Glimt made their debut in a UEFA group stage during the autumn as well as successfully defending their domestic title. This season’s European campaign, in which this is their 16th match, is the longest in the club’s history.
• After concluding their first European adventure for 16 years in last season’s UEFA Europa League with a 3-2 defeat away to Milan in the third qualifying round, Knutsen’s side lost this season’s UEFA Champions League first qualifying round tie to Legia Warszawa, but subsequently eliminated Valur, Prishtina and Žalgiris Vilnius to reach the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage, where they were one of the standout teams, winning all three home games – including that astonishing victory against Roma – and drawing all three away, though failure to win at Zorya Luhansk on Matchday 6 (1-1) enabled the Italian club to leapfrog them to the top of the final standings.
• The Norwegian title holders have won nine of their 11 European home games this century (D1 L1), including six out of six in the UEFA Europa Conference League, scoring 17 goals and conceding just two.
• Bodø/Glimt have won both previous UEFA ties in which they claimed an away win in the first leg, most recently against Valur in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League last summer (3-0 a, 3-0 h).
• Celtic missed out on an unprecedented tenth successive Scottish league title last season, finishing 25 points adrift of arch-rivals Rangers as Premiership runners-up. Their European campaign ended in the UEFA Europa League group stage, where they came bottom of a section including AC Milan, LOSC Lille and Sparta Praha.
• This term, under new manager Ange Postecoglou, Celtic were unable to negotiate the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase for the fourth successive summer, losing to Midtjylland in the second qualifying round, but subsequent UEFA Europa League qualifying victories over Jablonec and AZ Alkmaar put them into the competition’s group stage for the eighth time. There they recovered from defeats in their opening two matches – 3-4 at Real Betis and 0-4 at home to Leverkusen – to beat Ferencváros home (2-0) and away (3-2), but a second defeat by the German side meant their closing 3-2 home win against Betis was academic, with third place already confirmed.
• Celtic have lost four of their six European away games this season, winning the other two. They have conceded 15 goals in those six matches, at least two in each game, though they have scored 14 themselves. Conversely, they failed to find the net in nine successive post-Christmas European away fixtures (D1 L8) until a 1-1 draw at FC Copenhagen finally ended that 16-year sequence two seasons ago. The Glasgow club’s last European away win during the spring was 1-0 at Boavista in the semi-final second leg of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup.
• Celtic have lost the first home leg of a UEFA tie eight times previously and have recovered to win only one – against Dinamo Moskva in the third qualifying round of the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League (0-1 h, 2-0 a). They have never previously lost the first home leg 1-3 but have failed to retrieve a two-goal deficit on three occasions, most recently succumbing to Valencia in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 32 (0-2 h, 0-1 a).
UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Runar Espejord (Heerenveen), Japhet Sery Larsen (Brann), Brice Wembangomo (Sandefjord)
Out: Patrick Berg (Lens), Fredrik André Bjørkan (Hertha Berlin), Erik Botheim (Krasnodar), Pernambuco (Sheriff, loan), Marius Lode (Schalke), Vegard Moberg (Brann)
In: Reo Hatate (Kawasaki Frontale), Daizen Maeda (Yokohama F Marinos, loan), Matt O’Riley (MK Dons)
Out: Ewan Henderson (Hibernian, loan), Kerr McInroy (Ayr United, loan), Adam Montgomery (Aberdeen, loan), Brody Paterson (Airdrieonians, loan), Liam Shaw (Motherwell, loan), Ismaila Soro, Osaze Urhoghide (Oostende, loan)
Links and trivia
• Eight clubs made their European group stage debut in the UEFA Europa Conference League this season, but Bodø/Glimt are one of only two to have made it through to the knockout phase, along with Group D runners-up Randers. The Norwegian side had the most points of all eight second-placed teams (12) and were the only runners-up to qualify undefeated.
• Celtic had the worst defensive record in this season’s UEFA Europa League group stage with 15 goals conceded in their six games.
• Bodø/Glimt are one of two reigning domestic champions participating in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-offs, the other 2020/21 Czech double winners Slavia Praha.
• Bodø/Glimt’s record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
8-7 v Levadia Tallinn, 2004/05 UEFA Cup second qualifying round
• Celtic’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
4-5 v Inter, 1971/72 European Champion Clubs’ Cup semi-final
4-5 v Valencia, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
4-3 v Spartak Moskva, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
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