Challenge for makeshift Celtic


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. petec says:


    27 December, 2011 at 17:26



    I’d like to think he was too, it’d help in dealing with mibbery and the LL :)




  2. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. says:


    27 December, 2011 at 17:34





    You’ve never experienced Hurricane Sphyncter Buster.






    Phewwww thank not Moonbeams :)

  3. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!! Tick Tock !! on

    The LL have been very quiet pre this latest clash between good (Celtic) and evil (rankers) … it at all possible that they have finally come to realise that Celtic are the only hope for Scottish Football…..the current buns have been rank for some time now, and seem to be getting progressively worse as their Armagedon approaches….



    If we win tomorrow night, we will need to very careful on the way home… will be all over for them (in more ways than one) and they will revert to type, I’m afraid….



    Tick Tock, Tick Tick..

  4. Help needed please.



    Usually listen to Clyde through the internet. This past few weks I can’t get it. After clicking play I get the intro bit and then silence and no live transmission.



    Any help appreciated.




  5. Guiltylurker 17.30. it wasn’t a bad experience and both women would have been local:- good people. I made the comment thinking that all would be up for Celtic.



    My wife is from the town, beside C O Ireland, so would know the town well, and have nothing but good experiences with English supporting Celtic fans who had settled there watched game with them in Derrylahan.



    Hope we get a result, good time to watch game, but a bit ironic that it is so late when they were saying the early ko’s was for safety (always about money). After any game they lose there is always trouble, so guys need to be careful. My young fellah is going to game so he has been told where to go after game certainly not down London Road.

  6. Good old STV nailing there colours to the mast boys going into business with the Huns.



    Says it all really and the old John McKay wae the blue tie will be happy.

  7. lennon's passion on

    Joe Filippis Haircut says:


    27 December, 2011 at 17:46



    Agree mate i’m a massive Lennon fan,he loves Celtic the modern day Tommy Burns.Will stand outside Parkhead signing autographs till every last fan is happy.Think he is maturing into a very good manager,just small things like the way he answered the Boyd question the other day.The Huns hate him the way he got treated last season still irks me,modern Scotland my @##@.Can`t get to sleep some nights thinking about him lifting that spl trophy.

  8. BT



    Not travelling myself but No 2 son is. Up to the club at 1.30am for the 3.30am sailing!!!



    Bloody hell!

  9. hen1rik says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:20



    Its business, their business thankfully not a joint business venture,


    whats to be p***** off about?


    let them eat cake.

  10. I’m getting very anxious about the confidence of some here……lets be positive! but nothing more! any win will do.

  11. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Lennons Passion Well fella we are in agreement and his signings in the main have been good and two or three have been exceptional big Victor 67, Izzy,Kayal.Matthews to name a few.Also as you say he is Celtic through and through we think we hurt when we lose a match well we allways know Lennie is feeling it even harder.H.H.

  12. Stephen Black Kano 1000 says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:25



    well if wee shug is half as good at tipping as the CQN horsey tipsters……..

  13. The power of collective positive thinking, nothing to beat it.



    Take saturday for example, we lose a late goal, the crowd get anxious and this is transferred to the pitch.



    Think positive bhoys, nothing wrong with it.

  14. gallagher says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:09



    The LL are rabid degenerates who have tried everything to get Neil to quit. I have to say that lately he has been superb in dealing with them and it must really annoy them that Neil is still there and is in so much control of things.



    I hold the media every bit responsible as the scum who sent the bombs and bullets to our Football manager and to see him there Unbowed and so easily controlling the vicious and vindictive bigots is a great credit to the high intelligence and supreme bravery of the man.

  15. Che says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:25


    hen1rik says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:20



    Its business, their business thankfully not a joint business venture,


    whats to be p***** off about?


    let them eat cake.







    1/2 million users a month will that not help their finances.

  16. Any idea what the headlines are due to be tomorrow morning ?



    They must have a few original ones in the locker.



    Also, heard KC was for the off in Jan as discussed on Beyond The Waves other day there. On loan to Southampton.

  17. MurdochAuldandHay



    forget the winds. Tomorrows forecast – T H U N D E R !!!!!!



    Hail Hail




  18. Joe Filippis Haircut says:


    27 December, 2011 at 17:46



    Agree completely, I think one of the telling factors re. Neil’s current young side is that the transfer window is only a few days away and the site is not full of calls for a spate of new signings!!



    There is huge potential on display just now, and even if we lose 1 or 2 players ( at the right price) I am even beginning to believe the scouting system is capable of finding suitable replacements, there is the feeling of a dynasty being created.



    Canna see anything other than a home win (which is a worry not usually so confident) remember all eyes will be on the discipline of our players and all ears on our fans!



    They will love a chance to undermine any victory!

  19. ibleedgreenandwhite1 says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:57


    Terry just tore Keevins a new one there!!!



    Hail hail







    That’ll give me something to listen to later on iTunes.

  20. fergus slayed the blues on

    Just heard that Dalziel said Elbows should not have been sent off on Saturday ,.sounds to me that they are getting worried .


    If we beat them I think they could crumble .


    hail hail

  21. petec says:


    27 December, 2011 at 18:38






    Good coaching improves football players, i also believe good coaching improves how one appears in the media. At first i thought it was a tad



    unLenny but he’s coming across in a way which reflects his intelligence. The LL know they can’t attack him like in the days of yore, as it would be



    seen to be blatant incitement, so they wait on him failing to enable them to ridicule him, but Lennys ahead of the curve imo. Next up, on the pitch



    and NL seems to be growing stronger there too with big players still out injured and the january window upon us. We are playing solidly if not



    flamboyantly but both attributes are equally important and Neil seems to be intertwining the different strands together well, if we win tomorrow by a



    few then i don’t believe sally and the hammer throwers have it in them to come back.



    That’s what i think