After a home defeat to St Mirren in November precipitated Gary Holt’s resignation as Livingston manager, the West Lothian club have won all eight games played, by any measure, they are the form team in Scotland right now. They were 13 points behind fourth placed Hibernian after that St Mirren defeat. Hibs have played three games more than Livingston since then but the gap has shrunk to 7 points.
That should illustrate how Livi will be a more difficult opponent than Hibs were this week. New manager, David Martindale, will fancy his chances of making a name for himself at Celtic Park tomorrow.
Celtic are still without their 13 isolating players, as well as the long-term injured, although Nir Bitton returns from suspension and will likely replace Stephen Welsh. I expect David Turnbull to move into the middle at the expense of Tom Rogic, with Ewan Henderson starting on the right as he finished against Hibs.
Neil Lennon might be thinking long and hard about Diego Laxalt, who conceded the late foul Hibs equalised from on Monday, and did the same at Ibrox, preceding the corner kick Newco scored from. It is not totally Diego’s fault that we cannot defend set-pieces satisfactorily, but we need to find a way to stop him conceding them. Replacement by Greg Taylor is an option.
I have no suggestions as to what we do up front but would not be surprised if Mikey Johnston moved inside. On the positive side, Livingston will not know what to expect from us.