And from nowhere, our return to Celtic Park is to play the league leaders: Kilmarnock. Steve Clarke has a quiet demeanour but however he projects his ideas on the training field, he is vastly more effective than (arguably) any other manager in the country. Our record against Kilmarnock under Clarke is two draws and two defeats. For a club that spent half a century getting roundly spanked at Celtic Park, that is a remarkable stat.
Four wins in four games, all with clean sheets, means Killie will be confident of limiting Celtic to few genuine chances, especially when they review video from Wednesday’s game at Fir Park. It is, therefore, more important that we move the ball quickly and our passing game as as crisp as possible. This means a midfield with Christie, McGregor and Rogic.
Odsonne Eduard will lead the line on Thursday against Salzburg, but I am split on whether he or Leigh Griffiths will be best up front tomorrow. I would be tempted to play Leigh but suspect the manager will go with Odsonne.
We held a halftime lead at Rugby Park earlier in the season before losing in the final seconds of the game. Dropping three points from a winning position is always a sore one, the players will hopefully revisit that feeling tomorrow.
Celtic FC Foundation Christmas Appeal Bucket Collection
The Foundation undertakes work from Haiti to North Glasgow, but the Christmas Appeal concentrates on those in the UK and Ireland who need help at this time in particular. The many homeless who need cover and will benefit from a warm meal. The families with children without enough money to put food on the table and heat their home.
Those of us who live ‘normal’ economic lives will find extreme poverty is impossible to fully comprehend. Because of the Foundation, some homeless will be warmer, some children will receive gifts and feel like a normal child for once.
As you enter Celtic Park tomorrow you will see people shaking a bucket to collect for the Foundation. Bring some money along. The magnificent work of the Foundation is yours, done in your name, fulfilling the cause of your club.
Be a part of it and tell your pals to do the same. Thank you.