Cast of thousands and pitch perfect


Cecil B DeMille liked going to work with a Cast of Thousands.  Ange Postecoglou must feel the same way as he prepares for the trip across the city tomorrow.  He has never had as large a squad to choose from since his arrival at the club in June, and perhaps never in his managerial career.

Kyogo will be on the team bus.  It has been over three months since our most valuable asset crossed the white line, he returns just in time to contribute towards the conclusion of his first season in Scotland.  Giorgos Giakoumakis will surely take the starting striker role.  He is fully fit and in the best form of any striker in the country.  At most, Kyogo will be limited to a cameo, but his presence will lift the spirits of team-mates and the 700 Celtic fans in the stadium.

Ibrox is likely to be on a par with any surface we will play on for the remainder of the season.  Whenever we have been in trouble away from home, it mostly comes from an inability to get our passing game going on an unsuitable pitch.  We must get the ball moving on the ground as crisply as possible.

Goalkeeper and defensive options are straightforward.  Who plays either side of Callum McGregor and either side of Giorgos is a more difficult question for Ange.  Perm any two from Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull and Tom Rogic for the midfield positions, and two from Daizan Maeda, Jota or Liel Abada for the forward positions.

Years of watching games at Ibrox have conditioned me to want players capable of standing up to the physical challenge.  If, as I expect, we start Hatate and O’Riley, I would insist on Maeda ahead of them for his tackling and general industry.

Celtic will take to the field with the calm of a team who know they still be top of the table when they leave.  Newco know they need to win at all costs, even a draw is not good enough.  If the score is level going into the final quarter of the game, our hosts will gamble.  We need to be ready with a Jonny Hayes -type counterattack.  Think what CB would say at the Red Sea parting scene.


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  1. Corkcelt,



    Yes,I know Kyoto is a City in Japan,but the problem is,my laptop,which comes from that technologically advanced country,has great difficulty recognising the difference from,Kyoto,and Kyogo.I managed to check and change one error,but it caught me out with the second.


    A mind of its own,this damned,inscrutable, Japanese machine.

  2. Tom McLaughlin on




    I spent a lot of time at Drumpellier Social Club in the late 80s and played for the second xi cricket team a few times. Loved their quiz nights run by Richard Macdougall and Shug Pender. Neither of them would be chuffed at being name-checked in a Celtic blog, that’s for sure.

  3. Tom McLaughlin on

    I’m receiving texts leaking tomorrow’s team. So here we are on the eve of a crucial derby and some asswipe is still leaking our line-up. This has to stop.

  4. Tom 8.43pm



    I take it the “pender” would have been one of the family of Butchers :-)



    Tom, in the 80s as a young teenager I would have spent every other Saturday at the cricket club watching my brothers play football when they were at home, obviously the cricket season the fitba posts would have been down … we might have been in the “club” at the same time at some point :-)

  5. Drew 67



    Drumpellier were a good side back in the day. ESP late 80s early 80s in the western Union as the west of Scotland top league was known.



    I seem to remember they had a really good Indian professional player back then Budi Kunderan I think it was.



    I played at Clydesdale back then. It was not a popular thing to be a Celtic supporter at that club back then. I was one of only 2 that I knew. Most had very close links to rangers. Indeed the Huns used to train at Clydesdales ground a bit.

  6. The drumpellier professional Kunderan was the only man ever to open the bowling / batting and keep wicket at test match level although in truth he was never a bowler.

  7. prestonpans bhoys on




    Proof in the pudding will be revealed tomorrow, if the selection is true😎

  8. Borgo67



    I had to laugh at the term ‘Raging Bunsen’. Not heard or for a while. The aussies didn’t need those with Warne latterly….the Indians definitely do it seems. That is why Warne is so special. He took wickets everywhere and didn’t need a turning wicket. The Indian spinners only really excelled at home on suitable wickets. I would have loved to see Ashwin given a chance last summer in England just to see how he did.

  9. Not a lot of height in our back four, though a fair bit of nous and ability. Midfield, well got to go with fitness, which means O’Reilly – McGregor – Hatate. Likewise up front got to start with Maeda on the left, who will help out Taylor, G Mak up front with Jota on the right dovetailing with Juranovic, two of the most able players on the pitch tomorrow. That leaves Abada waiting in, but not on the wings, Bitton, Rogic, Turnbull, McCarthy ready to step in as and when required and Kyogo only if we are trying to salvage a result late in the game.


    We start top we stay top and we don’t stop…

  10. Burnley78 21.00pm



    The cricket player Kunderan was never out of the Coatbridge & Airdrie advertiser for his performances, am sure his children are good Celtic fans … this was a quote about him back in the day …



    “A Coat­bridge cricket star has been de­scribed as the “Jock Stein of cricket” for his in­flu­ence on sport in the town.


    When Budhi Kun­deran ar­rived in the early sev­en­ties Drumpel­lier Cricket Club“

  11. Tom McLaughlin on




    Yes indeed, the butcher Penders. I remember Hugh but can’t remember his brother’s name.



    I brought a team from my Glasgow office for the quiz night. I called our team “Tam’s Tims”. You can imagine how that went down. It got worse when we won the thing and walked away with the trophy and prize money. We went on to win the next quiz and the next. As we went up to collect our third successive prize, the compere said, “Here are Tam’s Tims for their third and final quiz award.”



    That was their way of telling us not to come back.

  12. GFTB



    That good to hear.



    Are you still making family priority and not going to watch Celtic at CP ? If so do let me know if you do want to go in the run in. My lad plays on a Saturday so his seat is often free. I would be happy if you wanted to use it.

  13. Tom 9.16pm



    The butchers is still on the go …still the best butchers around, again as a youngster I got sent for the butcher meat every Saturday morning to Penders … always a wee joke about my Celtic top(s), nothing nasty, now as at 50+ going in with my daughter some of the staff still have a laugh … always a few Celtic fans working in it as well :-)

  14. Not over confident but just positive about tomorrow. We have the players and the system and the belief.



    They have a degree of structure and the home advantage plus random referee.



    We do have 6 potential Ibrox debutants. That is always a risky thing. Especially so with an aggressive high press and trigger happy ref. Cope with that and we will do it. Our advantage in sheer skill and belief should win out.



    I can’t wait to see the expressions on Ange and the boys faces at the end as they are running towards our wee group of 700 who have backed them all game against the ugly roar.



    Watching that as the stadium empties behind them will be the best ever this time.

  15. Moderator1888 on

    ART OF WAR on 2ND APRIL 2022 8:40 PM · EDIT



    Has anyone asked Moderator1888 if they are a hun yet?



    Only fair …






    Aye, the question has been aired lol

  16. Re Drumpelier C.C



    my father was from Burnfoot,Airdrie .i think there were more tims at the cricket club tbh😉🍀

  17. Moderator1888 on

    What you think the scores on the doors will be tomorrow?



    3-1 to the good ghuys for me



    I think there will be a few goals for sure

  18. Burnley78 9.24pm



    Cheers … much appreciated but getting a ticket is never a problem … far too many things going on to disappear to the fitba these days …. It’s funny as ma wee maw used to moan at me for disappearing to the fitba and forgetting to come home … she will be having a wee laugh now that other “things” now take priority



    Although I’d probably get chucked out if I had to sit beside some of the moaners that go to every home game :-)



    As for tomorrow, sadly I am always confident about Celtic winning, even during the Souness/EBT eras … I still believe good will overcome evil in the end



    Evil 0 Good 3 tomorrow (I can hope and dream)

  19. GFTB



    I would take that for sure.



    I can never relax v them even if 2-0 up. So 3-0 might make it a better experience. ESP if they are in the first hour or so.



    Being greedy though I would love a couple of goals at our end.



    I have only been in the wee corner we get once before and we won that 2-0. Edouard and Hayes scored so hoping I am a good omen !!!

  20. Them having to play Roofe should allow us to play a higher line tomorrow, a bit like Celtic Park in February. Roofe is something of a cart horse pace wise. Juranovic has Kent for pace as well.



    A high line from us could negate their number one threat – set plays.

  21. Moderator1888 on

    AN DÚN on 2ND APRIL 2022 10:03 PM · EDIT



    Them having to play Roofe should allow us to play a higher line tomorrow, a bit like Celtic Park in February. Roofe is something of a cart horse pace wise. Juranovic has Kent for pace as well.



    A high line from us could negate their number one threat – set plays.






    Agreed, its the “fouls” they get in our half that worries me.



    Constant high balls into our penalty box due to bad decisions will take its toll

  22. Burnley78 10.00pm



    The “wee corner” must be some experience, as we mentioned the other night about 1-4 and 1-5 games, there was more of a defiance and a coming together when getting beat, I think that might have been the first I heard “always look on the bright side of life” (hope I got that right but JVR will let me know if my timing is out :-) … the Huns while winning were still raging as the Celtic support grouped together and just sang … a few other terrific times were also sing with much gusto …. At the end of the day it’s Celtic that matters not the result …. Although winning is the icing on the Celtic cake :-)

  23. prestonpans bhoys on




    Would guess they’ll try a Livingston and go for frees outside the box with a high punt to their CB’s

  24. Tomorrow is not the time to concede as a result of playing out from the back, except if we are already 4-0 up.



    Which brings me to my Glasgow Derby Eve mad prediction. We will score 4. We may lose 0, 1 or 2 goals. That is all.

  25. For the statos for tomorrow…..



    Since we gubbed the Deady Bears on 29th April 2012 3-0 – a marvelous occasion…


    “When will I see you again……”



    They then got relegated…..only joking…. liquidated, never to be seen again until the tribute act appeared in 2016.



    Since then, we have played them 24 times, four of those being Cup games. So 20 league games in total.



    It breaks down as 10 wins to the good guys and 7 to the manky mob, with 3 draws.


    Worth noting here that 5 of their 7 wins came at their own midden.


    Until February’s 3-0 demolition we hadn’t beaten them since Sept 1st 2019. So most of their accumulated wins are recent history.



    Oh and goals scored in that period?


    41 to the Hoops against 20 to the zombies.



    As stated earlier I still think 2-0 but 1-0 to us also possible. Just don’t get beat bhoys.



    Link to stats below;



  26. sceptical citizen on

    Banning any reference to a media that’s packed with dangerous liars might make the blog a more realistic place, and buck up a few outlooks??

  27. I hope UKIP plentifully tonight and are up in plenty of time for the 12 noon kick off. I think we’ll have Liberal amount of possession and provided we don’t Labour under the weight of expectation and get the rub of the Green to get an early lead, I think we can Conserve (ative) our lead and have a Scottish National Party. Certainly Alba having one.



    With 700 of our fans there we won’t be totally Sinn Fein. Respect!



    Let’s see the Moderator deal with that.

  28. Whilst being mindful of the scale of the challenge and the magnitude of the occasion. If we win tomorrow, the league is effectively over. Let that sink in, we are 90 minutes away from the fat lady clearing her throat.

  29. SFTB- Your pushing the boundaries in the nicest way…should change your blog name to Gerry Mandering….😜

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