ANGE POSTECOGLOU is back where it all started when Celtic line up against Hearts at Tynecastle this afternoon.

It was at the same venue on July 31 last year that the Greek-Australian gaffer led the Hoops into a Premiership encounter for the first time.

It was a false start for Neil Lennon’s long-term successor who had been named the Parkhead club’s new manager the previous month as he quit J-League outfit Yokohama F Marinos to move to Scotland.

The visitors lost 2-1 when centre-back John Souttar was allowed time and space in the penalty area to bullet in the winner when he got his head to a left-wing free-kick in the fading moments.

GRIM-FACED…new boss Ange Postecoglou watches as Celtic lose 2-1 to Hearts at Tynecastle in his first Premiership experience in July 2021.

Ex-Celt Gary Mackay-Stevens had opened the scoring in the eighth minute, but an excellent solo goal from Anthony Ralston nine minutes after the turnaround looked like giving the team and their new boss a point.

In fact, it could have been all three with a controversial offside decision robbing Liel Abada of a second goal on the hour mark. Ref Bobby Madden ruled it out in a tight call.

Only two of the 14 players who turned out for the Hoops that evening are in today’s starting line-up – Anthony Ralston and James Forrest.

Greg Taylor, Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi are among the stand-by squad.

ROARING SUCCESS…Anthony Ralston celebrates his goal with a little help from team-mates James Forrest and skipper Callum McGregor.

Keeper Scott Bain is now third choice behind Joe Hart and Benji Siegrist, captain Callum McGregor and centre-back Carl Starfelt are injured and David Turnbull will not be risked.

Nir Bitton (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Tom Rogic (West Brom), Ryan Christie (Bournemouth) and Odsonne Edouard (Crystal Palace) have left the club while Ismaila Soro is on loan in Portugal.

The team 15 months ago was: Bain; Ralston, Starfelt, Bitton Taylor; Abada (sub: Furuhashi 79), Soro (sub: Rogic 90), McGregor, Turnbull (sub: Christie 79), Forrest; Edouard.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Hearts v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.


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