IT’S been a long 14 months since Celtic last faced Ferencvaros in a game that, with the benefit of hindsight, heralded the beginning of the end with the Parkhead club for former manager Neil Lennon.

Today, Ange Postecoglou and his side have the chance to right the wrongs of last August in the Europa League by securing an invaluable three points against the Hungarian champions at Celtic Park.

Following defeats to Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen in the opening two games, all eyes now turn to Ferencvaros this afternoon as a must-win game if Celtic are to have any real hopes of qualifying for either the Europa League knockouts or the newly introduced Conference League.

So, how do Postecoglou’s side fare against the Hungarian outfit?


Standing in Postecoglou and Celtic’s way of the three points are three-in-a-row Hungarian Champions Ferencvaros who, like Celtic, have undergone a rebuild of sorts since the last meeting of the clubs in August 2020.

Ukrainian coach Serhiy Rebrov departed in the summer for Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates, replaced by Austrian and ex-Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Stoger. His was an unpopular appointment with the Fradi fans due to his association to Austrian Wien, sworn enemies of Rapid Wien with whom Fradi have a fan friendship.

Domestically, Stoger has got off to the worst possible start as Ferencvaros tasted defeat at home at the hands of Kisvarda in the opening fixture – Fradi’s first home defeat in three years. Since then, Ferencvaros have won six straight league games including derby successes against Honved and Ujpest, before a modestly rotated side lost – at home – to Zalaegerszeg on Saturday afternoon.

In terms of Ferencvaros’ squad changes, over the past 14 months there has been more of a natural evolution and improvement of the squad, rather than the rebuild thrust upon Postecoglou. With the exception of Igor Kharatin’s deadline day departure to Legia Warsaw, Ferencvaros has maintained the spine of the side that dispatched of Celtic last season, supplementing an already strong squad with some key signings.

The defence has been bolstered by the arrivals of Sammy Mmaee and Henry Wingo, Stjepan Loncar and Kristoffer Zachariassen have reinforced the midfield adding grit and additional goal threat, while Ryan Mmaee, younger brother of Sammy, has been a revelation upfront since signing from AEL Limassol scoring 11 goals in 17 games across all competitions.


Like Celtic, Ferencvaros have lost their opening two group games this season and will view the visit to the east end of Glasgow as a chance to get their campaign back on track.

The Hungarians went down 2-1 away to Leverkusen on matchday one before losing 3-1 at home to Betis last time out, a result that flattered their Spanish visitors.

Stoger has shown a degree of flexibility in his tactical approach before and during both games thus far, employing 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, and 5-3-2 formations at various times across the games.

The main attacking threat can be found in the pace and direct running of Albania internationalist Myrto Uzuni on the right, Tokmac Nguen on the left, and the movement of Ryan Mmaee through the middle. Behind that attacking triumvirate, Aissa Laidouni provides industrious work ethic and a vital ability to pick out key passes.

Defensively, while still strong and well organised, Ferencvaros have developed a tendency to leak goals from crosses and set-plays – sound familiar? As a case in point, both goals in Saturday’s home defeat to Zalaegerszeg came from not being able to clear or deal with crosses into the box.


Over the last couple of games, Postecoglou has shown a hitherto unseen flexibility of his own, displaying an ability to win ugly at both Aberdeen and Motherwell – two results that have given the support a massive lift in confidence going into today’s game at Celtic Park.

At home, with the backing of the support – albeit limited due to the unfriendly kick-off time – I’d expect Celtic to return to a more expansive approach and take the game to Ferencvaros.

With Jota on fire and Kyogo’s intelligent movement a constant threat to any opposition, Celtic have the fire-power at their disposal to hurt the Ferencvaros defence.

It is similar to last season: if Celtic trust in the process and play to their strengths they have the quality to win the game. Allow Ferencvaros time to settle and set the tempo and they may be in for another disappointment.