MY first impression of Celtic's Champions League draw against Juventus were that this is a good tie, a glamour tie – and one they can win.
And I wouldn't have said that about every team they could have got. Malaga or Schalke would have been my first two choices, but Juve probably wouldn't have been far behind. Quite simply, over two games against Manchester United I wouldn't have fancied Celtic to go through, and likewise against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund or Paris Saint-Germain. But just maybe Juve is doable. You know what Italian teams are like. Generally, I hate watching their games because I find it too tactical, too defensive.
But this Juve team are different from the typical Italian mould. With the likes of Fabio Quagliarella, Mirko Vucinic, Sebastian Giovinco up front and Andrea Pirlo pulling the strings, they are a real threat going forward. When they come to Parkhead they won't open up and play silky soccer – they will keep it nice and organised at the back and let the offensive players do their job and try to nick a goal – but I fully expect it to be a different story when they play at home. They just go and attack you, as Chelsea found to their cost in the group stages.
The new Juventus Stadium is a frightening arena, nothing like the Stadio Delle Alpi, where the stands were miles away from the pitch. There is a real atmosphere now and with the record Juventus have there, Neil Lennon's men are going to have to play exactly the same way that they did against Barcelona.
Admittedly, Chelsea have been up and down this season, but they are still one of the best teams in England and for Juventus to beat the current champions of this competition 3-0 at home is quite a result and tells you how hard it is going to be for Celtic in Turin.
We all know about the Champions League history between these two famous teams, the Nicola Amoroso dive and the famous 4-3 win at Parkhead in 2001, but I don't think you get caught up in it for this one. This is a new Celtic and a new Juventus. Unlike those days, I don't think you see the best players in the world queuing up to go to Italian football any more.
The Champions League tends to be shared out between Spanish, English and German teams – with the exception being Inter Milan's victory in 2010 under Jose Mourinho. That said, Juventus remain a very good team. Pirlo was sensational in Euro 2012 and is the one who makes them tick. He is 33 now, so the legs can't carry him about, but his movement in those deep positions shows that he is still fit enough to play comfortably at this level. I'm sure Celtic are already thinking about someone playing off the front, getting in his area, and stopping him play. If you can nullify him a bit then you have got an even better chance.
After what Celtic did in Barcelona, I wouldn't write them off in any game and they have a more than a fair chance of getting through. If they can keep it nice and organised in the first leg and let the atmosphere carry them through, a 1-0 win at home would be wonderful. Then they could go to Turin and play exactly the same way they did against Barcelona. If they win and keep a clean sheet in the first match at home then I think Celtic will go through. Juve are brilliant, but they are no Barca.
THE row over the proposed re-naming of Ibrox continues to bubble away. Charles Green, the chief executive, is adamant that he should rename the stadium if the money is right, but some fans were arguing at the Annan game over it. Some will never change their mind on this subject.
But for me – assuming the deal is right – it is money for nothing. Even at Newcastle, when it was called the Sports Direct Arena, the fans still called it St James' Park. It is simply a sponsorship deal, like a shirt sponsor. You are getting the best of both worlds and Ibrox will always be Ibrox.