Celtic play hosts to the third placed side in the League tomorrow in a league match that will hopefully go some way to ensuring a championship flag is secured before the end of this month. We have to focus on nothing except three points and try to ignore the circus that is going on with and around our opposition. We must not be complacent and I am sure the manager and the coaching staff will have drilled that into the team this week. The opposition is to be respected but not feared and if we respect them as a team and do not turn up expecting a victory we will be well served.
I hope we can start strongly this game. Of late (including the Hogmanay game against tomorrows opponents ) we have been a bit slow out of the blocks and struggled to impose ourselves on the scoreboard. Last week was a case in point. Sure, we moved St Mirren all over the place and ultimately broke them down but the Paisley side were stubborn opponents and in modern day football if you are fit and organised you can make it hard for teams to create.
The key for us is to be on the front foot and ensure we move the ball quickly. When we do this we are a joy to watch and it would be fantastic if we could play at a high tempo from the first whistle. It will be up to Broony to set the tone and the tempo and ensure we are pressing high and shutting down quickly. If we can work at least as hard as our opponents then I am sure our extra quality will come to the fore.
Concentration is the key to our defence. Any SPFL team is capable of scoring if we are not switched on and focused. The defence must be vigilant yet composed and communicative with each other to ensure runners are tracked and players picked up. When we have the ball I would like the defenders to try to play forward through the lines, but I do accept if our opponents sit deep this will require patience and sometimes we will need to play in front of them, moving them around and hopefully tiring them out.
If we can get service to the front three I believe we have the players who can cause the opposition defence problems. Moussa has outscored this team in the three games and Scotty Sinclair is on parity with them. I believe they fear the physical presence of Moussa and I think he is a better player now than when he has played against them in the past. Scotty is a class act and is adept at cutting inside the defenders to shoot or outside. In fact when Scotty does his step over move and goes outside he is virtually unstoppable.
I think Paddy will get the nod, assuming James Forrest is unfit. I think the wee mhan is a bit more gallus than GMS and has shown an ability to turn it on against the Ibrox side.His close control and ability to draw men to him can create space for runners from midfield.
I cannot wait to see the tifo this week. I actually laughed out loud when I saw “the living flag” at the last home league game against the Govan team. It was so well done and such a statement. It served as a nice focal point for everyone in the stadium and I cannot believe that the visiting fans did not appreciate it :-).For those going to the game…be safe and sing your hearts out. For those watching all around the world in pubs and at home enjoy.
My prediction….well, I think we will have a lot of the ball and I think we will need to be patient. I cannot see a high scoring game despite the teams netting a cumulative total of ten goals in the Scottish Cup last weekend. I have a wee sneaky feeling the Griffalo may play a key part in this game. Of course I would love the scoreline to be similar to the first league game this season but I suspect it will be a lot tighter. I wouldn’t be too upset if I was wrong and we won convincingly again.