Celtic must beware arbitrary red card


We go into tomorrow’s top of the table clash in better form than we were at the start of the month.  Wins over Livingston and Dundee give Celtic a platform to build on.  These games coincided with a consistency of selection in central midfield; Paulo Bernardo filled the endlessly changed slot in central midfield and rewarded his manager with the opening goal on Tuesday.  I doubt it is a coincidence that players looked like they knew what they were doing after a period of inconsistent form and selection.

It surprised me that Daizen Maeda has not spent more time on the left since his return from injury.  He is clearly more suited to that wing, and he is particularly effective at pinning back Newco, who prefer attacking on their right.  How we support Greg Taylor on the left will be crucial to the result.

Both teams have injury concerns over their first-choice central defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers’ persistent tight hamstring forced his early retirement on Tuesday, while Connor Goldson went off early last weekend with a groin strain.  I expect both players to start the game, even if they cannot complete the 90 minutes.

Newco will arrive tomorrow with a similar tale of injury woe that Celtic went to Ibrox with in September.  We finished that game with a defence of Ralston, Lagerbielke, Scales and Bernabei, all of whom had enough ability to successfully defend their one goal lead.  Celtic were able to boss the game against a weaker opponent.  The fundamentals of the teams have not shifted away from Celtic in the intervening period.

We can expect lots of running and plenty of fight from Newco, they may also benefit from generous refereeing.  We need to match them on the first two counts.  This will be a battle and my biggest concern is that an arbitrary red card flips the scales in favour of the visitors.  Celtic have to compete but give the referee no opportunity to step into the limelight.

Kyogo terrifies Newco.  He has started 11 games against them, winning seven and losing only twice: his first game at Ibrox, when he played on the wing, and in extra-time at Hampden, when we were kicked off the park.  I doubt anyone across the nine year history of this fixture has a comparable record.  Expect him to see the result over the line tomorrow.

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  1. Majestic Hartson on

    I’m feeling a bit more confident about tomorrow after recent performances but still think we’re a long way off being a good team at the minute. The home support probably gives us the edge tomorrow.



    If was a fan of Der Huns I’d be worried that if they don’t beat us, with the way we’ve been playing recently, when will they?



    Hopefully never :)

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “my biggest concern is that an arbitrary red card ”




    What happened to ‘No Excuses ‘?


    Anyway, should be a fairly routine (if not easy) win.


    2-0 probably the ideal result. Anything more and you don’t need to be a genius to figure out what will happen to recruitment…..

  3. copied from previous



    we have the better players , lets make sure they are selected in their best positions for the benefit of the team , if maeda is to start it must be in the left wing to nullify any threat from thems captain , done it before and will do it again.

  4. Prestonpans bhoys on

    We heard all these sound bites in September from the huns and I would say they haven’t improved that much under new management.



    Remember they got two last minute “pull on the shirt” penalties that no one else gets to secure four points.



    Play well snd avoid anything the mibs can through at them and we will secure 3 points

  5. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Come on The Celts, time to finally light a fire under this slow burn of a season!



    Maeda on Tavpen is a no-brainer. Hopefully Brendan doesn’t attempt to be too clever by half. Likewise with his selection in midfield.



    I’ve said the same this week. My biggest concern for this game is the hun ref gifting them a red card or pen for a minor shirt tug on dead man fall champ Goldson.



    Walsh was decent in his last derby game. Can he keep it up?

  6. We need our midfield to play .we need them to be fearless .we have the better players but we don’t have the toughest players . It will be high cross balls into our box . With Walsh giving his employers plenty opportunity . We need to be at our best to beat them plus Walsh and varman . Time will tell HH

  7. Kyogo goal to send the home fans home happy after first half goals from O’Riley and Welsh.


    CCV did not train and will not be risked tomorrow.

  8. It feels everyone on the same page re Maeda.



    Likewise the officiating. VAR is the guy we really need to watch imo. Not Walsh. Not sure who VAR is ?



    Great point re Kyogo. He really has the measure of them. As important is that they fear him. A partially fit Goldson would be quite a sight.



    2-0 would suit me fine but better for my heart if in the first hour than the last half hour as we had back in the days of Burley and Lamberts great game.

  9. DESSYBHOY on 29TH DECEMBER 2023 1:05 PM


    Var is collum



    A handpicked compliant coward,who lost money the last time the huns banned him,broke his heart,won’t happen again

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Crowd will be important tomorrow.



    Patience, faith and positive support at all times required.

  11. Bada


    Huge game, in the context of this season, they have had everything from VAR decisions when they’ve needed them, I dont see it changing tomorrow we need to take all our chances to eliminate the effect. This is a terrible situation when you know you won’t be fairly treated by the officials. Paul 67 warns of a red card, remember the same ref sent Callum McGregor off at Ibrox without hesitation, for in his opinion2 yellow cards offences.

  12. I hate these games. Any kind of win please Celtic.


    If the ref does his job we should be able to get a narrow victory.


    I would love to see one of the Scots clatter the tiktok genius.

  13. Fabio Silva’s U-21 record of 10 goals in 20 looks decent on paper. However they’ve all come against Belarus, Andorra, and 5 in two games against Lichtenstein which Portugal won 11-0 and 9-0.



    Sent on a season loan to Anderlecht in the 22/23 season he scored 7 in 20 league games before having his loan terminated in January by the Anderlecht manager who claimed “Fabio did not want to get his jersey wet for Anderlecht”. Oh dear.

  14. As much as I rate Rio and Leil, there is no way I’d risk them tomorrow, can’t be up to match speed. Same goes for CCV, Welsh is fine replacement.



    Daizen on the left, Palma on the right and Bernardo at no.6



    3 – 1 the good guys


    Penalty rainjurs




  15. bournesouprecipe on

    “ Rainjurz budget is the same size as that of some small countries “



    Spew Keevans @ages ago

  16. Walsh has helped Sevco achieve a record on no penalties awarded against them. It’s now reached the point where the SFA are embarrassed. They know tomorrow will bring intense scrutiny on them if we are denied a penalty due to bias.



    They would not hesitate to throw Walsh/Collum under the bus (although Collum was Hugh Dallas bag carrier and was scorned by other refs like Callum Murray). Walsh will need to be very careful tomorrow about how he referees the game. He is a reasonably clever guy and knows what is at stake(personally). His objective should be to be anonymous.



    On the game happy with Welsh playing as well as Bernardo. Bernardo was used in CL games to break up player which neither of the other alternatives were great at. Glad he is playing domestically now and would hope to see him score one from longer range.



    The support will be huge and can carry the team to a crucial victory.

  17. Lucky Cody



    Agree the support can be huge tomorrow.



    Hopefully we have 80% of the stadium on their feet for the 100 minutes.



    Help bring even more energy to the start.



    Then patience and real backing for the team.



    Calling out any poor decisions also.

  18. I didn’t give CCV a chance for tomorrow so the news of his absence is expected. Welsh can and will step up. We may need to assess where we are in terms of bringing in more CB cover in January but that will have to wait for now.



    A season defining game tomorrow. A game which has taken on far greater significance than looked likely a month ago. Go out and win it, Celtic. Nothing less than 3 points.

  19. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    So our best player is unavailable.



    Understood. Let’s deal with it.



    Looks like Stephen and Liam.



    Can’t see Reo bringing much, if anything, to this game.



    From memory he takes a while to get back up to speed.



    Liel doesn’t usually take as long but he’s been out for months – so I expect little from him tomorrow.



    Agree with general consensus re Maeda on the left but I’d be tempted to switch it up quite often rather than plonk him left.



    Palma’s numbers from the left have been very creditable – we shouldn’t sacrifice his creativity completely.



    Also Daizen not fully fit – can’t see him Duracell bunnying TavPen for a full game.



    Our wide men approach will be a tricky one – both Sevco full backs are weak defenders.



    Paradoxically, their reactions to being put under pressure are not to fall back (like an instinctive defender) but rather play further forward in the wing back role that is natural to both.



    If we apply enough pressure they’ll run away to their comfort zone with centre backs gradually more exposed.



    Cue Kyogo.

  20. Any Mib, Var, honest mistake or anomalies antics tomorrow and Celtic should refuse to play on!


    The subsequent punishment etc will be offset by the worldwide publicity!


    Then we can show the proof and statistics to all and sundry







  21. Agree Burnley78 ; our captain and senior players need to question Walsh on any dodgy decisions. He needs to know the world is watching him. Payback comes to everyone—- even the SFA.

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