LIAM SCALES is bracing himself for a tough shift at Easter Road this evening – but is determined to help Celtic put in a capital show in Edinburgh.
The left-sided defender was part of the team that struggled to break down Hibs when the champions shed two points in a dour scoreless stalemate in October.
It was an encounter where there were few genuine opportunities and the nearest Brendan Rodgers’ men came to a breakthrough goal was a late strike from substitute James Forrest that clattered off the face of the crossbar with David Marshall stranded and rooted to the spot.
The Republic of Ireland back-four operator realises there is no margin for error on this occasion with their nearest challengers’ 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox last night that moved them joint top on points with the Hoops who are ahead only on goal difference.
THOU SHALT NOT PASS…Liam Scales and Cameron Carter-Vickers combine to repel a shot from Hibs striker Adam Le Fondre in the goalless draw at Easter Road in October.
The third head-to-head confrontation with the Leith club – Celtic won 4-1 in Glasgow in December in the other meeting – is now a must-win match for the visitors after the 1-1 deadlock at Pittodrie on Saturday.
Scales is ready to get his sleeves rolled up to get the job done and said: “They were difficult when we played them at their place earlier in the season – difficult to break down and it was a tense game.
“But this is a challenge for us and we’re looking forward to it.
“It will be a similar game to the weekend. They are both tough away venues and we just need to be really right at it and our first objective is to work harder than them.
“And from there we have the quality to play good football and to beat them on the football side of things, as well.
”We are all rested and recovered from the last game, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Reflecting on the draw with the Dons, Scales, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “It was disappointing as we felt that we could have won the game.
“I think if we had taken the chances and then controlled the game from there on it would have been a lot more comfortable for us.
“But we’ll move forward from it and take this game now.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Hibs v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.