Tottenham play Celtic in Helsinki in the fourth match of their pre-season preparations for the new season. In past games, Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic have never played a competitive match but are old acquaintances from previous friendly matches.
Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic have met on previous occasions in many countries and cities around the world. Today they add another new country when they play their friendly match in the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland.
Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic – The Previous Matches
In the summer of 1957 Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic met on 4 occasions as part of a 9-match tour of North America. Spurs won the first three matches with Celtic coming out on top in the final game. The other matches were against local opposition.
Bobby Smith helped himself to 8 goals in the first three high-scoring games as the two teams provided rich entertainment in the USA and Canada.
19th May: v Celtic (New York) Won 4 – 3 Scorers: Dulin, Smith (3)
1st June: v Celtic (Vancouver) Won 6 – 3 Scorers: Banchflower, Smith (2), Stokes (2), Brooks
8th June: v Celtic (Toronto) Won 3 – 1 Scorer: Smith (3)
9th June: v Celtic (Montreal) Lost 0 – 2
Bobby Smith (below) clearly enjoyed playing against Celtic in the 1957 tour games.
An 11-game end of season tour to Bermuda, North America and Mexico included three games against Celtic. Tottenham were less successful on this occasion, losing twice and finishing with a draw. As with the previous tour, these matches were played with a near full strength team. The only absentee from the Spurs squad being Jimmy Greaves who was with England for their final preparations ahead of the World Cup Finals to be played in England the following month. Included in the Tottenham team was their new signing from Chelsea, Terry Venables who had made his league debut against Blackburn Rovers in the final match of the season.
21st May: v Celtic (Toronto) Lost 0 – 1
1st June: v Celtic (San Francisco) Lost 1 – 2 Scorer: Mackay (pen)
4th June: v Celtic (Vancouver) Draw 1 – 1 Scorer: Venables
In August, 1967 Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic met at Hampden Park in a match which was billed the “Battle of Britain”. The FA Cup holders versus the European Cup winners. In an exciting match, it ended honours even.
5th August: v Celtic (Hampden Park) Draw 3 – 3 Scorers: Greaves (2), Gilzean
‘In this magnificent football ‘Battle of Britain’ brimming over with entertainment and loaded with individual genius, the score see-sawed fantastically.’
Jimmy Greaves scored within a minute but Celtic were ahead by the 20th minute, goals which could be attributed to poor clearances from Pat Jennings. Alan Gilzean equalised before half-time and Greaves restored Spurs’ lead only for Celtic to again equalise following a mistake by Jennings who appeared to be under pressure from the change in the laws restricting the goalkeeper to four paces before clearing.
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The first game to be played between Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic on a home ground, Spurs visiting Celtic Park.
7th August: v Celtic (a) Lost 0 – 1
16th August: v Celtic (a) Draw 1 – 1 Scorer: Falco
Tottenham travelled to Scotland as FA Cup winners but without Paul Gascoigne.
4th August: v Celtic (a) Lost 0 – 1
25th July: v Celtic (a) Lost 1 – 2 Scorer: Armstrong
Having met on 12 previous occasions, Tottenham entertained Celtic at White Hart Lane for the first time.
7th August: v Celtic (h) Draw 1 – 1 Scorer: Iversen
10th August: v Celtic (a) Lost 0 – 2
Spurs and Celtic were invited to play in the 4-team Feyenoord Jubilee Tournament. Tottenham achieved their first win over the Scottish club since their successes in the first North American tour back in 1957.
1st August: v Celtic (Holland) Won 2 – 0 Scorers: Bent, Bentley
The following year Spurs and Celtic took part in the Wembley Cup. Having drawn with Barcelona in the opening game, Jake Livermore scoring, Tottenham met Celtic in the second game.
26th July: v Celtic (Wembley) Lost 0 – 2
Since first meeting on their tour games in 1957, Tottenham and Glasgow Celtic have played 16 games. Spurs have won on 4 occasions with Celtic recording 8 successes and 4 draws.
The matches have been played in 5 countries – USA, Canada, Scotland, England and Holland. Finland makes it six countries with Helsinki the 9th city after Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, Glasgow, London and Rotterdam.
Celtic suffered a heavy defeat against Legia Warsaw on Wednesday evening in the Champions League and have the return game next week. Having played three competitive matches already this season, Celtic will be nearer to match fitness while Spurs are still preparing for the new season with the World Cup players only back this week.
Mauricio Pochetino will be looking to maintain his unbeaten record and see the players build on their performances in North America.