It all goes on the line at Hampden tomorrow


Games come thick and fast when you remain in all competitions in late October. The Allianz Arena got your heart beating on Wednesday, but much more is on the line at Hampden Park tomorrow: the first trophy of the season.

While our unbeaten domestic run goes on the line every game we play in Scotland, I wish we were not facing an occasion as important as a cup semi-final immediately after such a huge Champions League occasion. The timing of this game contributes towards Hibernian’s chances of success.

Neil Lennon’s Hibs have already won at Ibrox and drawn at Celtic Park this season. They genuinely have no fears about making the trip along the M8 to face Celtic at the national stadium. While Celtic players were draining every muscle of energy on Wednesday, Hibs players were resting in front of the television. They would have been tucked up in bed before Scott Brown and his team-mates got to Munich Airport and have enjoyed the benefit of a week’s uninterrupted training.

For Brendan Rodgers, the challenge is to pick a team with sufficient energy and ability to ensure a cup final appearance next month. He is able to make changes, which I expect to happen.

Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic should start. Callum McGregor enjoys the Hamden stage and I would give him the nod ahead of Olivier Ntcham or Stuart Armstrong in the central mid berth, although Brendan will think otherwise.

We are the champions and treble winners for a reason: that we have unerringly raised our standards to meet every challenge presented. Tomorrow is another occasion when our deep reserved will be called upon.

Enjoy your day at Hampden.


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  1. Paul67


    What about Centre Half and right back for tomorrow’s game ?


    Big Jozo out for several weeks

  2. VFR800 is now a Monster 821 on

    PHILBHOY on 20TH OCTOBER 2017 10:18 AM



    PHILBHOY, thanks for that; I really do believe that we are heading in the right direction and this is a 4 for 5 year project.



    If we had been offered the team and progress that we have today after the Fenerbache game a couple of years ago I find it hard to believe anyone on here wouldn’t have seen that as a pipedream.



    We are in a good place and it’s getting better. The bar was set very high last season and we probably won’t replicate that domestically so progress in Europe is the benchmark this season!






    Swink is word of the day!





  3. I would probably keep same back 5


    Goalie, plus 4 in front,






    Gamboa, Lustig, Boyata & Tierney


    Brown, Ntcham & Rogic


    Roberts, Dembele & Sinclair



    Need to get some consistency for next few games ?


    Hibs, then Aberdeen, make changes for Kilmarnock, then back to above team for BM game at Celtic Park



    Hail Hail

  4. No complaints when the big games come thick and fast, when I played I simply loved playing.



    Nothing worse than listening to big clubs moaning they have too many big games to play, git oan wi it!!

  5. Ajer for Gamboa, Lustig back to right back, Moussa for Griff, CalMac & Rogic for Ntcham & Armstrong.





    Lustig Ajer Boyata Tierney


    Brown McGregor


    Roberts Rogic Sinclair





    Subs DeVries Gamboa Bitton Armstrong Ntcham Forrest Griffiths



    And keep Ajer beside Boyata until sicknote is back, no more Lustig or Bitton at Centre Half, give the bhoy a run of games.

  6. Some recycling from earlier —



    Great to see that the SFA / SPFL fixture arranger is living up to his / her / its past history.



    Eye off the ball moment for us when we allowed the recent SFL cup arrangements to pass without comment.




    Totally naked attempt to put us off our CL campaign / ambush using the cup.



    Another issue that needs to be put in the public domain and followed up with vigour.




    One other issue that needs more effort — the Ajax hooligans in Glasgow story.



    That needs to be put in the media continually to highlight the complete failure of the Plod / PS to carry out their duties.




    People put in hospital and the Plod outsources justice to their foreign cousins.



    Totally shameful and the story needs to be followed up with vigour.




    The PS would be a global laughing stock / figure of fun if it was not for the tragic outcomes of their incompetence. Completely useless and then some.

  7. Paul 67 et al,



    I agree that the three players mentioned should figure prominently.



    Talking about Callum McGregor whom I rate as the most improved player at Parkhead. I slated WGS for not bringing on Calmac and again I though he should have figured in the game in Bavaria. Some may think that’s questioning BR, incorrect, it’s a blog where debate and opinion is like oxygen.



    I realise that he had a poorish game against Dundee, but he was not alone there.



    Anyway, it’s blatantly ridiculous to play a semi final so soon after an extremely testing Champions league tie. Some “thank you” for financially propping up Scottish football again.




  8. Tomorrow’s game is one where the fans will need to get right behind the team for the whole match and drive them to a victory.



    I have no doubt we will !

  9. Usually when Celtic and rangers are in the semi finals of cups at hampden against other teams.


    Rangers always get to play first.


    This ensures that that the turf is roughed up for Celtic playing the next day.


    This the sfa hope is that it will interfere with our passing game.


    But this time we are going first.


    Is it because it gives us LESS time to recover from our hard fought and sapping


    Champions league game .


    Or am I just being cynical?

  10. JC 2. 11.28.



    Sorry for delay.



    A great point.



    Hypothetically, I know I’m stretching this, Sevco and Sheep could have been playing last night in Europa League and both could have qualified for league cup semis.



    If they hadn’t been drawn against each other in the semis, then there is no way any cup semi would have been played on the Sat.



    Hail Hail

  11. Hopefully we will attempt to bolster the defense come January.



    The Anderlecht game was built on a great performance by the defence — including ML who put in a shift doing his day job.



    However that was on fleeting swallow in a long and cold autumn.


    Need to put some building blocks in place — lessons learned and ego’s packed away.

  12. VFR @ 12.24



    No but how about yourself?



    Just a realist wanting the club to progress and not fall back into some “10 in a row” glee club.


    What makes us — Lisbon 67 or Easter Road 74?

  13. the players were frozen stiff against PSG abnd BM No idea why.. We are celtic ansd should show it. So what if they have better players.. We have beaten better teams with poor3er players in the past. but you need to work harder on individual battkes abd sticking to a formation. Play Ajer tomorrow and buy a centre half on 1st Jan

  14. Our game is tomorrow because Hibs are the live game on BT on Tuesday. It’s the TV company, BT in this instance, who dictate who plays when.

  15. NRB @ 12.23



    It was doubles all round in the SFA / SPFL Ludge the night this little boondoggle was put into the football calendar.

  16. no more ML at centre back , never is and never will be a centre back, much prefer young Ajer to get selected ,at least until a proven cb is fully fit and ready for a long run in the back 4.

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I don’t buy into this thinking that the only alternative to playing the way we did was “parking the bus”.


    I wouldn’t have parked the bus either, but we could have played differently in terms of mitigating their strengths and still managed to get forward.


    Anyway, big game tomorrow – let’s do it!

  18. MDM @ 12.35



    We expect to get beat.


    We played with the fear.



    It was all about how good they were and nothing about our abilities.


    The Scottish cringe then comes into it where we shrink away from the challenge.



    We think we are brilliant based on nothing more than warm words.


    Then when reality puts up a fight we collapse and try to hide — the Scottish cringe in full flow — rather than rolling up our sleeves and getting stuck in.



    Plus we have not been playing very well since Anderlecht.


    And we have a defence that is being held together with string and duct tape.



    Mistakes were made during the summer and certain players are two on / two off regarding form.

  19. I don’t get this anxiety that we’re playing Hibs tomorrow, their form is poor. Since winning at Ibrox in August they’ve won 2 games in 8 (Livvy in the cup and Ross Co in the league). Yes they played well at CP a couple of weeks ago but they couldn’t beat a Celtic team that started without Brown, Armstrong, Simunovic, Roberts, Sinclair and Griffiths and didn’t play our normal formation.


    A fast start tomorrow and we’ll blow them away, fatigue is only a factor if you’re losing, hit them early and we’ll beat them comfortably.

  20. Gary67


    I have no issue with comments on giving Ajer a run at CH,




    Not until we get through the next few weeks


    Ajer, was converted to a CH when Brendan arrived, still to inexperienced i that area yet.


    Similar to Bitton, who appears to be being groomed to play there by Brendan.


    (Play Bitton and Ajer against Kilmarnock ?)


    Although many criticise Lustig at CH, he is a highly experienced international, and had played there prior to joining us, and for Sweden, so play our most experienced player in there with Boyata, and get a settled back 4 or 5 for this crucial period


    Although Ntcham has been indifferent these past few weeks, his work rate and at times creativity has been decent, again play consistently with Brown to build relationship and understanding.


    I think we could play several players off Dembele in no.10 spot, including a Griffiths or Roberts ?


    Playing Roberts in 1, could allow Forrest to play wide ?


    Rogic, Armstrong and McGregor have all been inconsistent as well, so let’s leave it to Brendan :-)))



    Another question, how far off the team is Svietchenko ? Sure I read he was nearly ready to return ?


    Plus Eboue


    Injuries have seriously disrupted us this season to date



    Incidentally FtSFA, including its Hamdump, and how is Regan, Bryson, Dickson (where is your clubs accounts ?) and Petrie etc still in position


    I see Parks have a link with Hibs, by providing their team bus as well

  21. !!BADA BING!! on 20TH OCTOBER 2017 12:40 PM


    Ron67- i thought Boyata and Lustig were our 2 best players on Wednesday



    agree re DB had a good game but ML was imo poor , no positional sense to be playing at cb , play him at rb only ,


    personally i feel his best days are well gone and that he doesn’t have the energy to get up and down the wing as CG but he is a better defender , its a matter of heads you win or tails you lose with either.

  22. BB @ 12.38



    Always has been.



    CFC new manager — TFOD2.1 is the third game in.


    TFOD2.1 new manager — the game is 9th / 10th in with the Sheep and the Hertz to follow.



    Then there was always the we away trip to the Highlands in between Christmas and New Year.


    Plus the home games on a Wednesday to muck up people’s travel plans.


    9 games in December and January with an Ice Age looming.



    Finally — this year’s innovation — the home game at the start of the October Week.

  23. Ron67


    The problem with Mikael at CH is lack of pace


    But, no different at Right Back, I personally don’t think any change at RB would have made much difference on Wed, Comam had to much pace. (Gamboa is actually a decent defender with pace)


    I think he reads the game well though, which gives him an advantage in at CH over either Bitton or Ajer – as previous, both being groomed to play there, and not natural CH’s either

  24. Celtic have sold out their ticket allocation for tomorrow, Hibs have not even sold half of theirs. Lots of empty spaces inside and supporters who want to attend outside.


    Scottish football, run by amatuers.

  25. Gary67



    I know why we are playing SAT because Hibs on Tuesday night but as previous



    Sheep and Huns could have been playing Last night in Europa.



    Would we



    a) Make them play SAT


    b) Two game on Sunday


    c) Sunday Monday



    But wait we have midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday



    Or do SFA magic some other rule move huns to MONDAY midweek game to Thursday


    and a few years from now have them bleat about how their quadruple was scuppered


    (ignoring they had zero points from 9 in EUropa after said midweek game)



    Sure SFA could have come up with something.

  26. Incidentally, great to have the blog back talking Celtic


    Hopefully we can get some of the missing posters back

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