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.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 17

  1. For all Paul’s caution (Which we can heed but will mean nought as the players make their luck) and so on – I hope Jelavic stays and I hope they stay in business – because to win the league we need to beat them fair and square – leave them no excuse.



    Heard it mumbled that Sally’s jaiket is shoogly as is and B Davies is on his toes pending a poor result on Wednesday…




  2. Paul67



    Kelvin Wilson seems incapable to me off holding a line and he either follows the ball or drops back resulting in very ragged back line. Kelvin and Dan are a terrible combination , Dan wanting to hold a line and Kelvin wanting to run back towards his own goal.



    Rogne should be brought back and Thomas and Chas need to put in a performance to make up for last years LCup shambles.



    Kelvin is not my cup of tea and his over casual approach reminds me somewhat of Tebilly, another ghuy with lots of pace who thought that this would get him out of trouble when he got too casual.



    Still more optimistic than most, start well and we will stuff them, Elbows to be dismissed again!




  3. Celtic Soul Brother- Supporting Kano 1000 on

    Googybhoy-still going to O’Neills for the game on Wednesaday?And where is it btw?

  4. Is it just me , or has anyone else noticed that when kelvin Wilson jumps he always has his arms on the opponents shoulders?


    I noticed it earlier in the season, and again, when he come on as a sub on Saturday.



    Refs in Scotland will very quickly get wise to this , and already he gave away one foul on Saturday, and gave away at least one in Europe – think it was Against scumbag Madrid.


    Rankers will rely on set pieces on Wednesday, and the last thing we need is Wilson conceding free kicks in dangerous areas.



    Personally , I wouldn’t play him, but I think he will get the nod.

  5. good evening cqn


    googybhoy dull miserable day in Balloch


    nervous about Wednesday But always nervous about game against the forces of darkness


    sorry about other post

  6. The manipulated inclusion of McCulloch should determine our midfield,by that I mean Victor moved forward to mid field,but please Lennie NO Ki not enough legs or heart for this fixture.



    Clearly Stewart Reagan does not know he is in Scotland when he states Christmas Day and Boxing day are not working days,it must now suit the purpose as I recall my Grandfather and Father working both days in this cultural backwater.

  7. Paul67



    A Merry Christmas to you. I have a totally different take on the game from yourself.



    It is Celtic who have nothing lose, if you had told me a month ago, that after Wednesday we would only be 1 or 4 points behind I would have been delighted!



    If you told me we would be 2 points IN FRONT, I would have thought you mental.



    Sorry, but it is Celtic who can go out there and play with freedom…




  8. SwanseaBhoy says:


    26 December, 2011 at 16:35



    I would like Victor, Skoosh or someone to have a quick word in Jelavic’s ear warning him of the fragility of his proposed transfer should he sustain a serious injury during the game on Wed night. I think it could happen too.



    BTW. I know you’re a great Christie fan but last night on RTE “One Night Only” featured The Dubliners 50th anniversary. Great show. Would be well worth a view.



    Hope you’re well.




  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    One thing that can change a game and it worries me is the ref, send of a Celtic player give the Orcs a penalty can change any game.So while we must be up for the game we have to be carefull and not give the ref any help in the game.Like most on here I dont think we should risk Izzy and I would have big Victor back in midfield but I think Lennie will leave him at centre back.I think we will have Stokes on the bench and maybe even Commons however, if we win there is still a long way to go and im sure plenty of twists and turns to come.I watched the Sunderland v Everton game this afternoon and if thats the best league in the world I wouldnt like to see the worst.H.H.

  10. Guys just stopped by and did a bit of catch up, havent been on in a couple of days.



    I just want to say that I am humbled by the messages of support and prayers for us and for wee Oscar. And by the number of people who have pledged to either start or resume giving blood.


    Knowing this site and knowing the ‘Celtic Spirit’ in all of us I must admit I expected it to an extent, but not to the level displayed here. Thank you to each and every one of you!



    Oscar had a great day yesterday. Santa brought his much sought after toy kitchen, microwave, plastic chopping vegetables etc. Maybe one day with a bit of luck he’ll be making all the dinners around here!! His appetite is a bit up and down from the chemo so he’s not eating well but he is in very good spirits.



    St Mirren result really cheered me up on Christmas eve, and with a bit of luck (Justice!) we will follow it up with a much deserved win over rangers on wednesday night! I am getting out for a few beers too so really looking forward to it. I will be having a punt on Hooper for 1st goal. 11/2 is too good to refuse!



    Hope you all had a great Christmas Day, and may you all enjoy the remainder of the festivities!!!!



    Hail Hail

  11. Minceyheidman says:



    26 December, 2011 at 17:34


    Googybhoy, whatever happened to the Tameside Emerald club, as I went to a few games with those bhoys a few years back?





    Think they are still going. They were based up in Prestwich for a while but not now.


    My local shows the games but cannot watch with Huns in the room


    O’Sheas in town is full of Tims. Great atmosphere.

  12. Celtic Soul Brother- Supporting Kano 1000 on

    googybhoy ♥ Happy Christmas to Paul67 and his family. Thank you. says:


    26 December, 2011 at 17:29



    Thanks for that-hope to see you there.

  13. I first met the Tameside bhoys in Oshea’s at the Ajax away game but their web link has not been working for ages and I had heard that they had split up.


    If you hear anything please give me a shout as it would be good to be in touch with Willie, Bobby and Jane again.

  14. Steinreignedsupreme on

    Paul67 –



    As always in these derby games, complacency is the enemy.



    Questionable attitude from certain players cost us dearly at Ibrox – but I am confident the same mistakes will not be repeated by the team on Wednesday.



    We’ll still have to battle for anything we get, but if Celtic play anything close our capabilities we will win.

  15. Fat Sally appealled the Elbows red card because he knew that the appeal wouldn’t be heard til after the new year. Watching on the highlights you can see Elbows face as he’s doing it and he means it.

  16. These games are unpredictable.


    And the huns have the benefit of uncle tom collum.


    They are dangerous at set pieces and we are not great at defending them.


    Collum will be setting his game plan to maximise their strengths.


    We have been poor the last two games with very few chances created.


    This is mostly down to the poor partnership of Ki and Kayal.


    Zero attacking prowess and weak defensively.



    Vic should replace Ki to give us more strength and purpose in this area.



    Sammi should be told to be direct and not go crossfield

  17. Lurgan53



    I agree with you regarding Jelavic – as I said, I hear his heart’s not fully in it at the moment (just from fans, no fancy schmancy inside info). Anything our Bhoys can do to cement that is worth doing.



    Are you over for this one?



    I’ll definitely have a look at that RTE show. Christy’s the man but I like The Dubliners too.



    I’m good – all the very best to you and to yours.




  18. googybhoy ♥ Happy Christmas to Paul67 and his family. Thank you. says:


    26 December, 2011 at 17:43



    My eldest – home for the hols but going back to Manchester in the morning – usually sups in O Sheas. He’ says to tell you he’ll be in tomorrow night. Big lad with “Mulgrew” on his Celtic top. Say hello – and make sure he’s behaving!!

  19. Knoxy2000



    If wee Oscar has half the courage of his daddy then he’s in with a great chance. God bless you and your family.

  20. GourockEmeraldBhoy HAILS THE KANO FOUNDATION on




    Glad to hear your bhoy had a great day.




  21. Swansea.



    No. I won’t be over this time but my second lad is going along with 80 – yes 80! of the Lurgan troops.



    Its an overnighter! To much jolification for an old git like me.

  22. Jelavic will be busting a gut on wednesday, he will be in the EPL shop window as this game is the only one they watch down south. He’ll be playing for his move.

  23. Just saw Barry Robson’s goal for Middlesbrough today. An absolute cracker.



    Must admit, I thought his time was up at Celtic but wish him nothing but success for the future.



    Barry Robson – Hunskelper.




  24. West Wales Celt on

    A pessimistic note of caution from Paul.


    Personally, I’m feeling right opTIMistic; that’s killed it then…

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 17