Discipline and patience needed from Celtic


The wind will make it uncomfortable to be out and about in the Glasgow night but it will have a big impact on this evening’s game.  Any team hoping to prosper from playing long-ball football is likely to flounder but it will be equally difficult for defenders facing balls that drop into their penalty areas.

Goalkeepers in particular face a difficult challenge.  Rangers will not expect to have a great deal of possession around our penalty area so you can expect them to shoot early and from distance in the hope of exploiting the wind.  There is probably a distance Celtic will be happy to see them shoot from but any space sub-30 yards from goal must be closed down.

Perhaps the most important preparation Celtic can do today would be to send Ki out with a bag of balls to get his shooting eye in.  He has the ability to score from outside the box against any keeper in the world.  Rangers’ McGregor doesn’t cope with a bit of movement in the ball, just ask Kris Commons, so will not look forward to seeing the ball fall to Ki in a shooting position.

Celtic’s most effective out-ball in recent weeks, high to the left wing for Georgios Samaras, will be difficult to make effective.  The short passing game will be more profitable; Ki and Scott Brown in particular will need to fancy the game today.  If we get a top performance out of both the result is not in doubt.

James Forrest is an fitness concern for Neil Lennon but he is a player who will worry Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, so I expect him to start, even if he’s not 100%.  He has the kind of pace no defence in the league can cope with, he creates and scores goals.  When he gets the ball, look out for how alert Rangers become.  This is panic.  Forrest will make it easier for others to find space, look for runs into the box from midfielders when he’s on the ball.

It would be a huge gamble to bring Emilio Izaguirre back into the starting line-up for this game after a four month injury lay-off but he is such an important player to how Neil Lennon wants Celtic to play I wouldn’t be surprised to see him.  Celtic need to control the ball in midfield and Emilio’s composure is a huge advantage in this respect.  60 minutes from him might be enough to give us the edge.

Gary Hooper will score.

The most important question for tonight is who will be able to maintain discipline.  Celtic’s recent narrow home wins against Kilmarnock, Hearts and Dunfermline should have been more comfortable but the visitors maintained composure throughout and gave themselves a good chance as a result.  Rangers are a better team than any of these three but discipline and composure are not words you would use to describe today’s visitors.  The most important thing for Celtic could be to frustrate Rangers and have the patience to wait for the opportunity to take advantage.

Get ready for a classic Glasgow night.

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  1. rioferdy5 Rio Ferdinand


    Training done,the sofa is shouting me to come+get comfy! Old firm game who you having?? Coooome on Celtic..get the Maestro Paul Mcstay back!

  2. GourockEmeraldBhoy HAILS THE KANO FOUNDATION on

    Just had a read of Phils year to date blog and then the replies… Is Jac Smith Kojo ?????

  3. TBB



    Thanks for the comprehensive response, interesting and with some personal stuff I’m doing at the moment I’ve had to learn a little and understand the area around yield and property valuation.



    I have historically thought that football would be different but you are right, it must be looked at as any other property investment would be, the way you have presented the figures makes sense and although the numbers could be questioned they are not miles out. So assuming you are accurate with this (& as I say I don’t see any reason (now) to argue that) where does that leave MBB with the Phoenix club?



    No need to answer that now, you’ve already stated you are unaware of his strategy or whether or not he even has one. And this is Glasgow Derby Day!!! Come on the Hoops!!!



    Maybe see you later depending on Bus, here’s to 3 points and an injury free victory tonight.







  4. Paul67



    The chat is rangers have been practising long diagonal balls since Saturday.



    I can’t wait for tonight! Let It Thunder!




  5. .



    Right Bhoys it’s been a Long Day..



    Went from the Bed->Recliner->Porch->Pool->Porch->Recliner->Bed (With a Few Visits to the Fridge)..So I’m back to Where l Started..I Have a 2hr Coma booked in 20mins..Hopefully then back Up @ 2am(in 2hrs) for the Return to Festivities..



    Summa ft HardDaysNightCSC

  6. Stewart Regan, the SFA’s chief executive, defended the procedure. “There will always be those who do not like the outcome,” he said via Twitter. “But the new process is there to deal swiftly with those who have offended.”



    He said that only a couple of weeks ago.


    This should not be about Ragers/McCulloch but the shamateurism of SFA.


    Will the same delays happen when we have other public holidays?

  7. Kitalba, it’s always worth taking a second opinion like that.



    ASonOfDan, could be wrong but I don’t see long diagonal balls suiting the conditions.

  8. ASonofDan



    If that is the case, and I am sure it is, then Sammi and Forrest are going to have to work hard and close them down on their own 20/25 area.



    The further up the park we press them tonight will ensure they break down and we will prevail

  9. rileyskeepingthefaith on

    Hail Hail Bhoys



    Beer In Hand Sausage And Black Pudding In The Pan Lid Of Me Grannys Bin Blasting In The Background Hagies At 2



    Come On You Bhoys In Green

  10. SwanseaBhoy



    Thanks for the explanation, I guessed as much, but couldn’t see him being as educated about The Maestro as he is, good to see.



    4-1 tonight Sammi 2 Hooper 1 and Ki 1

  11. It must be a long while since Celtic fans were feeling so confident going in to a Rangers/Celtic game. If it goes anything like recent form then it should be an easy shift for the players. Normally at this point I’d give a couple of reasons why I think Rangers would get the result but for this game I’m relying on a lucky break.


    To everyone who attends tonight I hope you all get home safe and that you have no trouble either from crowd trouble or for those travelling further afield from the weather.


    Celtic are pretty hot favourites for this one but I can hope that “stat sua cuique dies” holds true.

  12. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Motherwell v Dunfermline off,high winds have caused structural damage/improvements to Fir Park.

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