Sport Opinion

Five things we learned from Astana 1 - 1 Celtic

Celtic earned themselves a positive result from the first leg of their Champions League encounter with Astana.

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Scott Brown will look to get the better of Roger Canas. Picture: SNS

Three key battles that will decide Astana v Celtic

Where the game will be won and lost.

Celtic will be looking to earn a clean sheet in Kazakhstan. Picture: John Devlin

Andrew Smith: Astana striking headache to aid Celtic goal

It is natural to be pre-occupied by Celtic’s defensive concerns ahead of today’s Champions League qualifier. There are so many of them it would be remiss not to be. Chances are that the backline Brendan Rodgers is forced to send out against FC Astana in their Kazakstan home arena is likely to be more patchwork than Dolly Parton’s childhood tunic.

John Daly is proof that players are already dressing differently to get away from 1970s-type stereotypes. Picture: Getty Images

Martin Dempster: Music on a golf course hits the wrong note

So, Keith Pelley’s plans for an exciting and bold future for professional golf includes a shorter form of the game, fewer clubs, a shot clock, players dressed differently and…music. He was doing well, in my opinion anyway, until the European Tour’s chief executive got to the last of those possibilities in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live’s Wake Up To Money: Sports Edition at the weekend.

Can Celtic make it to the next round of the competition without their new signing? Picture: SNS

Have Celtic left themselves short despite Kolo Toure deal?

The signing of Kolo Toure has been lauded by Celtic fans, and rightfully so, but concerns remain going into their Champions League qualifier with Astana, writes Craig Fowler

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Yuliya Stepanova blew the whistle on Russian doping. Picture: Getty

Moira Gordon: IOC can’t put down welcome mat for drug cheats

Adam Pengilly is the latest British athlete to speak out on the row over Russia’s inclusion in this summer’s Olympics.

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Joe Root: Ill-advised hook shot. Picture: Getty

Allan Massie: England were let down by rash Joe Root

The ideal Test match has both sides scoring around 350 in the first innings and 250-300 in the second. In other words, it’s a match in which both batsmen and bowlers have the chance to flourish. Ideally again, there should be at least two centuries and a couple of five-wicket hauls. The game should ebb and flow and it doesn’t matter if it ends in a draw. Indeed, a draw may be the right result. One example of such a game was the Lord’s Test in the 1953 Ashes series. Len Hutton and Keith Miller made hundreds. There were brilliant innings from Arthur Morris (89) and the young Tom Graveney (78), and fine bowling from Ray Lindwall and Alec Bedser. On the fifth day England escaped from what seem certain defeat thanks to an epic stand between Willie 
Watson and Trevor Bailey. They finished some 40 runs short with three wickets in hand.

Robbie Neilson looks on in frustration during last night's game. Picture: Getty

Why Hearts fans are wrong to call for Robbie Neilson’s head

In the closing minutes of last night’s embarrassing defeat to Birkirkara, those remaining inside Tynecastle booed the announcement that Conor Sammon had been awarded one of the two man-of-the-match awards. It was utterly ridiculous.

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The striker arrives after spending time in Bulgaria with Litex Lovech. Picture: Hearts FC

Five things you should know about Hearts signing Bjørn Johnsen

Hearts have surprised everyone with the capture of the US-born striker on a three-year deal.

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Allardyce's parents are both Scottish. Picture: AFP/Getty

Sam Allardyce: Scots origins of next England manager’s name

England’s manager-in-waiting Sam Allardyce has a surname with its roots firmly north of the border.

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The 22-year-old will play for the eighth club of his young career. Picture: SNS

Time for Tony Watt to prove his critics wrong

Hearts represent the best opportunity for Tony Watt to get his career on track and prove to everyone he’s dedicated to being the best footballer he can be, writes Craig Fowler

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Sweden's Henrik Stenson answers questions from members of the media as he sits with the Claret Jug. Picture: AFP/Getty

Martin Dempster: Troon 2016 will go down in golfing folklore

Terrific Troon. Two words that, for me anyway, sum up the ninth Open Championship to be held at the Ayrshire venue and first in 12 years.

Rangers defeated Motherwell in the game of the weekend. Picture: SNS

Five biggest fan gripes from the Scottish football weekend

The new season began this weekend with the opening round of the BetFred Cup.

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Joe Dodoo pictured at training with Rangers as he looks to seal a deal with the Ibrox club. Picture: SNS

Five things Rangers fans should know about Joe Dodoo

Rangers are closing in on a deal to land Leicester City attacker Joe Dodoo for a deal rumoured to be around £250k.

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Bill Haas extricates his ball from sand at the Postage Stamp yesterday on his way to a bogey 4. The previous day he had chipped in from the Coffin bunker for a birdie 2. Picture: PA

Duncan Smith: Postage Stamp provided four days of drama

When Rory McIlroy said earlier in the week that he would be watching “the stuff that matters” in the Olympics year rather than golf’s return to the Games, you would imagine that the 100 metres would be near the top of that list.

New Chelsea Manager Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge. Picture: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Aidan Smith: Chelsea need something and so do Man United

A new word sneaks into the language and before any of us knows it the world changes completely. Suddenly, men in suits are leaving their jobs, comfortable, privileged positions which had seemed quite safe – and certainly well protected from the strange, ungraspable force embodied in the new word. But the power bubble is popped, the elite are usurped. Different men in suits move in to take their places.

Hertha's Hungarian head coach Pal Dardai masterminded the club's seventh place finish. Picture: Getty

Five things you should know about Hertha Berlin

Despite putting in an impressive showing against Brondby in the first leg of their Europa League tie, Hibs will be unlikely to advance to the next round following the 1-0 defeat at Easter Road.

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Odil Ahmedov (centre), Ari and Charles Kabore (right) could all be lining up at Tynecastle in the near future. Picture: Getty

Five things you should know about FC Krasnodar

Should Hearts defeat Maltese side Birkirkara - which after last night’s showing they are expected to - they’ll come up against Russian outfit Krasnodar in the third qualifying round for the Europa League.

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The return leg of the previously anticipated double-header will now take place five months after the first. Picture: Neil Hanna

Duncan Smith: 1872 Cup split a shame for Scottish fans

The desire of the Pro12 to see Irish and Welsh bumper weekends has left Glasgow and Edinburgh in the cold without a second festive derby, writes Duncan Smith

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Alim Ozturk models the new Hearts away kit while Jamie Walker wears Bobby Walker's shirt

Best Twitter responses to Hearts’ new away strip

Celtic’s shock defeat to Lincoln Red Imps looked set to exclusively dominate the Scottish football agenda - until Hearts had other ideas.

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