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Challenge for makeshift Celtic

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Anyone who thinks that Rangers will arrive at Celtic Park on Wednesday evening low on confidence or strategy better think again.  For all their poor recent form they are top of the league, beat Celtic comfortably earlier this season and have a squad full of players who know what it’s like to win the league.

They will revert to a familiar strategy.  Pack the midfield, deny Celtic’s creative players space, take no chances at the back and wait for a seasonal gift from Celtic.  I watched their recent defeat to St Mirren and I think it’s possible to question some players’ attitude to the game but things will be different at Celtic Park.  Already written off by many, ironically, they will arrive with the confidence only a team with nothing to lose can muster.

Celtic’s league form over the last two months has been exceptional and their Europa League performances indicate there is a lot more to come from this squad but they still have plenty to prove.  A particular concern will be the lack of a settled team in recent months.  Kelvin Wilson is likely to start his first game in months and I’d not be surprised to see Emilio Izaguirre back.

The front pairing is also a concern.  Georgios Samaras is back to his best form but he and Hooper have never convinced as a partnership.  We have to hope that Victor Wanyama can be relieved of central defensive duties to allow him to anchor midfield alongside Beram Kayal.  Neither Brown nor Ki are sufficiently imposing in the crucial central midfield area.  No matter how Celtic start on Wednesday the team will have a makeshift feel to it, any win will be hard earned.

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  1. .

     

     

    Re; Marko..

     

     

    When he ‘Done One’ back to Melbourne he turned up at The Melbourne No1 CSC..(Probably after he Read of the Fallout back in Glasgow)..

     

     

    Never Liked him after that..Typical Aussie Syndrome IAHS (Ideas Above His Station)..see Skippy..

     

     

    Tho his Mum Dad and Sister came to see a Few Games..Sister got Nipped..:b))))

     

     

    Summa ft BigSquareHeedCSC

  2. Are Der H*N appealing elbows red card? Be interesting to see if a ban would be increased. It looks like a deliberate assault even the oh so impartiatal BBC shortbread highlights. How can fat Sally even try and defend that? And why doesn’t Mcplod intervene and charge the begger with assault?

  3. From Arse FC site

     

    “RANGERS have lodged an appeal with the SFA against Lee McCulloch’s red card in Saturday’s SPL clash with St Mirren.

     

     

    The midfielder was dismissed by referee Steven McLean after the whistler judged that he had caught Graham Carey with an elbow.

     

     

    With Gers leading 1-0 at that point, McCulloch’s dismissal undoubtedly changed the course the game was taking and they went on to lose 2-1.

     

     

    Manager Ally McCoist’s initial reaction was that the decision was harsh and after watching the incident again the club has submitted its appeal to the association.”

  4. .

     

     

    Bhoys..

     

     

    I Have been Off the Punt for a While Now..Boxing day for Gambling Horses/Football is a Big Big day..l Have been thinking Back today..But NOT Punted..

     

     

    If Anyone could put a Link up for Kauto Stars Win it would be great..I’m outside the UK so Might not be Possible..EnyWhooo worth a Punt..Oooops..:O(

     

     

    Summa

  5. Paul67

     

     

    I wouldn’t have Izzy anywhere near the team on Wednesday and I’d prefer to see Rogne before Wilson at centre half. However, if playing Wilson allows Victor to move into midfield then it may well be worth it.

     

     

    Very apprehensive about this one.

  6. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    Paul67

     

     

    To quote your good self on many an occasion…..

     

     

    HMMMMM.

     

     

    No Celtic fan should approach a game against them with unbridled optimism,and I’m a great believer in “a pessimist is never disappointed”,but we have a team full of confidence,against a team lacking in same,a couple of suspensions,and no depth.

     

     

    Their confidence is low,ours is high.

     

     

    I think you are right,we under-estimate them at our peril.

     

     

    Let’s face it most of us on here under-estimated US this time last season……….

  7. Paul67

     

     

    Au contraire.

     

     

    I’d imagine it’s highly unlikely Kelvin Wilson or Emilio Izzaguire will start, maybe you’re still pulling Christmas crackers?

     

     

    Neil Lennon has no reason to change the side where Victor Wanyama has claimed the Centre Back role even though he’s a midfielder, I think NL will leave him where he is. Charlie Mulgrew will also stay put and Ledley did enough to retain the left back spot from Saturday.

     

     

    Hooper and Samaras are automatic picks, and though Samaras for this game won’t be set up as a partner for Hooper who’ll play more of a loan role with Samaras playing wider, and behind him.

     

     

    You’re dead right about Rangers, they’ll play defensively and hope for the breaks, and or assistance, from the extremely deliberate refereeing choice.

  8. HT – always apprehensive

     

     

    I remember sitting in the stadium during the 5-1 game doing mental sums as to the possibility of them scoring 4 goals. I work on a 1 goal in 10 mins with a potential factor for 3 in 20.

     

     

    Theirs was a Van Bronckhurst FK if I remember rightly.

     

     

    U

  9. Ok the beggers have appealed – will the appeal be considerd prior to Wednesday – if not Elbows is free to play?

  10. .

     

     

    RANGERS have lodged an appeal with the SFA against Lee McCulloch’s red card in Saturday’s SPL clash with St Mirren.

     

     

    The midfielder was dismissed by referee Steven McLean after the whistler judged that he had caught Graham Carey with an elbow.

     

     

    With Gers leading 1-0 at that point, McCulloch’s dismissal undoubtedly changed the course the game was taking and they went on to lose 2-1.

     

     

    Manager Ally McCoist’s initial reaction was that the decision was harsh and after watching the incident again the club has submitted its appeal to the association.

     

     

    As things stand, McCulloch will be free to play against Celtic in Wednesday’s crucial Old Firm clash at Parkhead although Dorin Goian will be suspended.

     

     

    With the SFA not due to hear the appeal until January 5 at the earliest, the midfielder is also available for the meeting with Motherwell three days earlier.

     

     

    Summa

  11. Paul 67 et al,

     

     

    Seasons greetings.

     

     

    I don’t see Neil making any more than one change to his defence.

     

    I don’t think he trusts Rogne, so it will be either Wilson or Izzy coming in , but. I don’t see both.

     

    Also I wouldn’t be surprised if he went with Saturdays 11.

     

    The bit I am nervous about on Wed is Wanyama at centre back. I really rate him, but on Saturday I felt he was pulled out of position in the first half. I much prefer him in the middle.

     

     

    My team would be

     

    Foster

     

    Cha Wilson mulgrew Ledley

     

    Kayal Wanyama

     

    Forrest Brown samaras

     

    Hooper

     

     

    I think we will win the game late on , with winner coming midway through the second half.

  12. Stewart Regan has confirmed that there will be no Fast Track Disciplinary panel hearing before Wednesday’s SPL card.

     

     

    The much acclaimed Fast Track procedure has come under scrutiny recently with Rangers and Motherwell highly critical of the system.

     

     

    With no procedure in place to hear appeals against decisions at the weekend Rangers are certain to appeal against Lee McCulloch’s red card at St Mirren knowing that regardless of the outcome the midfielder will be free to play against Celtic on Wednesday night.

     

     

    Responding to the question of appeal hearings the SFA chief used his twitter account to clear up the matter saying: “There is not enough time between fixtures for Scottish FA and club to have allotted time to consider their position. So it will roll over until next panel.”

     

     

    While most of the country returns to work tomorrow it seems that the SFA are unable to operate during the busy festive programme.

     

     

    For the benefit of all players and clubs surely it shouldn’t have been too difficult to have half a dozen panel members on standby by to review incidents from Saturday ahead of the Wednesday card.

  13. Ten Men Won The League on

    Elbows is a cert to play on Wednesday if they are appealing

     

     

    That is nothing but a bonus for us

  14. SummaSammi

     

    “With the SFA not due to hear the appeal until January 5 at the earliest, the midfielder is also available for the meeting with Motherwell three days earlier.”

     

     

    If this is indeed the case, then the SFA is an ass … regardless of which player or club is involved.

  15. BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on

    googybhoy 1555

     

     

    AYE,YOU THINK SO?

     

     

    Checked yer hubcaps lately?

     

     

    StereotypesCSC

  16. uly

     

     

    I remember having that same feeling of trepidation at that game. You’re correct Van Bronkhurst was their scorer and despite the result I thought he was excellent that day.

     

     

    Another memory from that day. I remember being back in The Traders Tavern after the game. The place was jumping and we were at our usual spot near the door between the bar and the lounge which happened to be situated beside the juke box.

     

     

    A young guy, about 18, meandered his way through the throng obviously sent by his mates to put on some tunes. Due to the number of bodies we offered to save him the trouble and just to tell us what was his choice of song.

     

     

    “Anything Rebel!” came the reply. And after handing over his pound coin he made his way back to his mates.

     

     

    The look on his face when George Michael’s Careless Whisper belted out from the speakers was priceless!!

  17. Used to be an early Friday meeting place for me and the lads as the lager was very cheap and could get a few down before heading off to the Grapes and Wilton at the time.

     

    Some good pub crawls then on the New and Old roads as well as Whitefield.

  18. hamiltontim

     

     

    Seeing you’re about. Opened one of my pressies from my younger daughter to find it was some guy Maradona’s autobiography.

     

     

    Where did that idea come from?

     

     

    scratchingtheheadcsc

  19. I’m not unhappy to see McCulloch free to play. Can’t see him doing anything other than try to injure opponents – although with Collum as ref he will be back to having his usual dispensation to use his elbows as he likes.

     

     

    But, as others have said, the system needs changed. If there is to be a fast track system then it must operate over the holidays too.

  20. I think Neil will play

     

     

    …………………Forster

     

     

    Cha…….Rogne…….Wanyama……Mulgrew

     

     

    ………..Brown….Kayal….Ledley

     

     

    Forrest………………………………..Samaras

     

     

    ……………….Hooper

     

     

    but i’d play

     

     

    ………………….Forster

     

     

    Cha………Rogne……..Mulgrew……Ledley

     

     

    ………Brown….Wanyama….Kayal

     

     

    Forrest………………………………..Samaras

     

     

    …………………Hooper

     

     

    Personally i don’t think K Wilson or Izzy will start.

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