Ibrox: dangers and opportunities


In January I shared a concern with a Newco fan.  At the time, they were four points clear, both teams had a game before meeting at Celtic Park.  My worry was that Newco could go into the game knowing that whatever the result, they would still be top of the league.

They could hope of moving well clear at the top, and concerns contained to nothing more than a reduced lead.  A disastrous display in Dingwall combined with a 10-man-inspired Liel Abada winner two hours later turned the psychological tables.  Celtic went top with a win over Newco, an oppertunity they took and never let go.

Celtic and a hardy band of 700 followers go to Ibrox on Monday with a 9-point lead.  Defeat would do little damage to their heavily odds-on favourites status, whereas a win would put them out of sight.  I doubt this game will determine the outcome of the title (on this question, the win at Hibs may be more important), but a win, or even a draw, would be an important determinant in our squad planning for the remainder of the season.

Newco mostly attack down their right, through Tavenier’s overload.  Daizen Maeda was a successful counter to this at Ibrox in April, pushing Tavenier back.  He seems a perfect fit on our left flank.  Jota has been out of the starting line-up recently as he recuperates from illness.  He is our most valuable talent and now fit.  Will he start on the right?  You may think so, but if Ange Postecoglou watches reruns of our recent encounters with Newco he will recall how Abada torments Newco left back Barasic.

The final decision may come down to the fitness of Jota.  He is unlikely to play 90 minutes, I think Abada will get the nod.

With Josip Juranovic certain to return at right back, Ange must decide which two join Callum McGregor in central mid.  Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley are the settled selection, but you have seen Aaron Mooy’s recent influence.  At an away game where Celtic can afford to be patient, a McGregor-Mooy partnership sounds like it could control that crucial area of the field.

Whatever the league table tells you, Newco will be strong and ready for the challenge.  They suffered earlier in the season through injuries, in particular at central defence.  Goldson and Davies are both back and better than those playing there recently.

Barasic and Tavernier have been exposed by successive Celtic teams, so there are areas for us to exploit where they are weak, but their core is robust and twice last spring did well against Celtic.  Jack, Lundstram, Kent and Morelos will let Celtic know they are not on home turf.  This is a battle we will need to win if our devastatingly good forwards are to be given chances.

My greatest fear is a random ball-to-arm inside the Celtic box.  We appear to be in a lawless era of the game, which never bodes well for Celtic.  My random hope is that the Charge against Allan McGregor as a hasbeen is confirmed by a costly error.

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  1. EENPINATA on 31ST DECEMBER 2022 9:18 AM



    ’15 /20 minute zones and cities.’







    Nothing new about 15 minute zones. Glasgow used to be full of them. Like most cities.

  2. TIMBHOY163



    I’m shocked and surprised that Ibrox has been voted best stadium in Britain when comparing it to the likes of Spurs, Arsenal, Newcastle, Man City and others.



    What does not surprise me is that it is seen as a superior stadium to Celtic Park.



    My heart sinks every time I take my seat in Paradise and see how the club has let the once proud stadium fall into disrepair.



    Get it sorted Celtic.

  3. Quadrophenian



    Ref St Joes



    Iain McIndoe (also in Australia now I think), Brian Maguire RIP was year below, Raymond Donaghy, Dino Bertolacini, Edward Broadly, Dougie McWhirter, Paul Forry, Paul Maxton, Paul Donaldson. These were a few in my year. All felt the wrath of Mrs Stevenson in P1.



    Ref St Als



    I went there from P4. So will know a few in Aus also from there.



    Ref Busby and Eaglesham Bus.



    Run by Ernie T, Tommy’s brother and Peter of course. Some great times.

  4. My friends in Celtic,



    It’s nearly 2023. Some occupations have disappeared like switchboard operators and some have emerged like a social media influencer.



    Who would be your social media influencer on CQN ?????




  5. No one in their right mind would vote Ibrox as the number one stadium.Good God.we were second.It was some half assed publication that was going on atmosphere.They recently spent millions on urgent repairs.


    Another puff piece.like the player valuations.make them feel good

  6. Greyskull is o e of the best if not the best lifting programmes for beginners.


    Its an easy mistake to make.




  7. Go tell the Spartim on

    Was this the guff from 442 magazine where they used quotes from Messi and Buffon and attributed them to Ibrox, if so then it only highlights how low publication standards continue to fall.

  8. Not posted for a long time but pop in every now and then for a catch up.



    Is there going to be a minutes silence at Mondays game for the Pope ?



    Best wishes to everyone for ‘23

  9. Good morning all Tim’s across the globe from a lovely mild Hogmananny in the Garngad.



    BRRB lay off the Tennents lager the morra I do not want a shortage in the city for Monday for the game.



    D :)

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