Before we get into anything less important, the Road to Seville cyclists arrive at their destination, 20 years after so many of us travelled to the city to watch Celtic in a European final. It was a special time in all our lives and in the club’s history. The cyclists wanted to mark that occasion and help us all contribute to the ethos that our club was founded on – helping others. Be a part of this story by donating here to the Celtic FC Foundation in honour of so much of our common history.
I can see your anxiety from here. Tomorrow, we play the only team in the country who managed to beat a full strength Celtic all season, but check yourself. St Mirren’s point against Hearts last week came on the back of three straight defeats. Their last win was also against Hearts, in early April.
Out three subsequent meetings have not been kind to tomorrow’s visitors: a 4-0 and 5-1 win at Celtic Park, and a 1-5 in Paisley.
St Mirren manager, Steven Robinson is never endearing, but in his defence, at least he tries to play football. You would far rather he made it to the top six, than Livingston, who missed out at the split two weeks ago.
Ange Postecoglou needs to get the wheels back on the barrow after defeat last time out. I don’t expect he will vary the line-up too much. Kobayashi is likely to start again in defence and I would be in favour of giving Oh the nod again in attack. He has shown encouraging signs but needs a run of games to relieve some of the evident pressure that lures him into rash challenges.
My big hope for tomorrow is a return of the Old Reo. Our fulcrum has been within himself since returning from injury; so much of his game is about being everywhere, all at once. Games under his belt is the only medicine.
Third choice keeper is a difficult gig to sell an aspiring young talent. It either goes to an uninspiring talent, or in our case, it goes to Scott Bain. Scott will not see a lot of action, but he meets Uefa home-gown, familiarity and budget requirements.
Occasionally, football stops you in your tracks. A week ago, Sheffield Wednesday lost the first leg of their League One play-off semi-final to Peterborough 4-0. Wednesday finished the regular season 19 points ahead of Peterborough. Coming on the back of Sheffield United’s promotion to the Premier League, this capitulation hit hard.
The disgust and anger was clear, there’s even a YouTube video of a fan shredding his ticket for last night’s second leg. But you know football. Wednesday went 3-0 up with 20 minutes of regular time remaining and scored the equaliser with a 98th minute moment of heroism. Sure, they went behind again by scoring an own goal in extra time, but equalised and won on penalties.
Nothing can work your emotions like your football team. The game is a lifelong companion and torment. Enjoy Celtic Park tomorrow.
Remember, Road to Seville.