Rogic will punish anxious Newco defence


While we all want to have a party on Sunday, the first priority is to win the tactical battle.  Normally, I would be anxious to control the middle of the park, but Celtic’s impressive defensive record indicates midfield may not be as crucial.

Newco were the last domestic team to score against Celtic that was not a penalty (Hearts) or a goal that even the Motherwell manager admitted his team had to subvert the rules of sportsmanship to record.

By comparison, Newco have conceded 10 since facing Celtic in December; Celtic are defensively solid, Newco are not.  If the game is tight, we should be confident of defending and hopeful of exploiting some of the defensive anxiety that Newco suffered in recent games.

Brendan Rodgers had selection problems at Ibrox in December, resorting to play Mickey Johnston as striker (unsuccessfully) and Callum McGregor as left back (to his cost elsewhere).  Neil Lennon also has selection problems for tomorrow, but of a different nature.

Dedryck Boyata will start, but I’m not sure if Kristoffer Ajer or Filip Benkovic will partner him.  Heart says Ajer (one of our own), head says Benkovic (so impressive).  I expect Jeremy Toljan to get the nod over Mikael Lustig.

James Forrest, Scott Sinclair, Odsonne Edouard, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will all start, leaving one midfield space available for Ewan Henderson, Tom Rogic, Olivier Burke, Mikey Johnston or, at a push, Olivier Ntcham.

Tom terrifies this team.  If he has 60 minutes in him, he should start, and if he starts, he will punish them.  If Tom is not fit, Ewan Henderson has done enough to suggest he has the craft for this occasion.

The two games between these teams this season have ended in a comprehensive 1-0 home win for each side.  This is an historic high for Newco, but you and me have missed what we were beginning to regards as customary four or five goal winning margins.  Neil Lennon will want the win most of all, but you also know the manner he would like to achieve this.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    I’d be cautious of placing expectation on Tom Rogic. He’s a marvellous footballer, but has shown over his time with us that he needs a number of matches following a period of injury to find his best form.



    The match will be won be our main players showing up, rather than being reliant on a moment or two from a recovering Rogic.



    (Trusting of course, having dissed the idea, I’ll end up eating my words after the game)

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Can see it being one of those games that never quite take off. A draw would suit both managers. Neither side in great form, but we have far superior players and should win. Can’t see too many goals.

  3. South Of Tunis on




    ” Remember the look on Sabine Weyand ‘s face as David Davis ambled up to EU HQ — ” Is this it ? ” . It was , he was ,then he disappeared and was replaced by Dominic Raab .. He disappeared as well . She is still following the process , the Brits are still negotiating , mostly with themselves ”



    La Repubblica 29 3 19.


    Big Tiny Kennedy-


  4. Whatever happened to match fitness and ‘getting up to speed’?



    And, given the leeway their derby day tackles, or ‘silliness’, will be afforded by the ex-season ticket holder, might not be the best environment in which to make a comeback from injury.

  5. MIT – Rolls and skwer pre game at the Toronto #1 on Sunday; C’mon you can’t surely resist that?





  6. We have not been fluent since Neil took over. Given that we don’t need to win I think Neil will be slightly cautious. They will get stuck right in like their lives depend on it. Thoughts of 4 and 5 goal routs are fanciful. This game is unlikely to be fluent or pretty.

  7. I really really don’t like it when we come out with something even vaguely positive or encouraging in advance of this horrible, gut-turnin’ fixture………………..Please don’t!



    Even if we lose the coin-toss I head for the nether reaches of the couch………



    HelpMaBoab(y) CSC

  8. KL @ 11.43



    Brexit is just one of many manifestations of a desire in the electorate for simple solutions to complex issues — caught up in a world where personal ambition and individual gain are now the only games in town for the upper middle class, privately educated establishment elite.



    DC called for a referendum to save the Tory Party.


    The Brexit mob hoovered up the “stuff the lot of them” tribe who are not usually that bothered.



    There’s was not a vote against the EU per se but a cry of rage against austerity, against change and against a rigged system.



    And now we have this — a shambles surrounded by a catastrophe wrapped up in a tragedy.


    No matter what happens over the next weeks and months — one thing is guaranteed — JC is to blame.



    No mater what was written on the side of a bus.


    No matter that the vote in 2016 was rigged — status quo vs a Heinz variety of “leaves”.


    No matter that TM is without doubt the most incompetent major politician of recent memory and then some.



    People need someone to blame — and he is it regarding the media and the establishment.

  9. Forrest is also a doubt for the game.



    I agree in principle. If Forrest and Rogic can give us 60 mins they should start. I honestly believe we would have been better playing Eddy from the start last time round even if he couldn’t do the 90.



    Last thing you want is to give these wee teams something to hold onto.

  10. Alan McRae SFA or Sevco?



    Discussing the notion that he wants a bigger challenge for Celtic, but controversially he singled out Rangers as the club he wants to provide it.



    He said: “They have done it once [gone unbeaten], hopefully it won’t happen again next season, because we’ve got to have challengers.



    “They know you need to have people challenging, otherwise it will get very boring and dreary.



    “We definitely need a good, strong Rangers, they are back, but they still have a bit to go. I’m sure they will eventually.”



    “ Anyway, we’ve stuck Boaby in for Sunday, so fingers crossed“



    Spot the Awe_Naw CSC

  11. MADMITCH on 29TH MARCH 2019 1:07 PM



    Succinctly put.



    It’s hilarious and infuriating to see Rees-Mogg, Rabb and Johnson fall over themselves backing a deal they have stated would be a disaster just so they can sit in the big chair.


    D.U.P. get a billion pounds and SAMMY WILSON can’t get a new shirt that he can close at the neck.

  13. Given recent form I don’t think a case can be made for either JF or ScS.



    The MF three possibilities look a bit unbalanced — SB and CMcG in the same team means CMcG is that bit further forward in his Twilight Zone where he has been known to disappear in games for quite some time.



    The MF needs work to deliver a competitive mix going forward.



    ON has everything to make us a better team but he has stagnated over the past 6 months.


    RC still has a lot to learn regarding intensity and focus but he is making good progress.



    EH is even more raw than that and he needs a lot more game time before he can get a regular start.


    The raw materials are there and so is the class — just a case of the consistency and the experience.



    TR — stick or twist / now or never — have his injury issues been overcome.


    He has been struggling for about a year now and hopefully he is now ready to go.


    He has got everything but he needs a bit of direction and coaching to fill in the last gaps.



    Consequently plenty of decisions to ponder.



    TFOD2.1 have shown some form this season.


    However they are very fragile / prone to mistakes when pressure is applied.


    Plus their defence is not the best no matter the latitude they have enjoyed from the SPL MIB.

  14. Paul67



    We’ve improved our away form under NFL and stopped the faffing about at the back, only dropping two points against the second best side in the League.



    Time to wrap up the contest with whoever Neil has available.



    Ajer has covered for the highly unreliable Benkovic who hasn’t kicked a ball in earnest since December.



    Don’t expect Rogic to start.

  15. As much as i would love big Tom to play on Sunday i cant see it as he has been out for so long



    That’s Sunday Paul, not tomorrow, tomorrow is Saturday




  16. Rees-Bogg



    “This is the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Phillip II at Le Goulet in 1200.”



    “It’s not so much a vassal state anymore as a slave state”



    Voting against, then?



    “Err. . . . “

  17. celticrollercoaster on




    I have some very sad news. Wee Shay McGinlay passed away this morning



    Lost for words! His family must be devastated







  18. Our best midfield is Christie, Rogic & McGregor.



    NL hasn’t had the pleasure of playing them and it’s no surprise we have struggled for creativity without them.



    I just hope we don’t see a N’Cham/Brown or Brown/Bitton tandem in the middle. It has to be Brown/McGregor/Rogic or Brown/McGregor/Henderson.



    Either that or NL will try to shoehorn Forrest of Burke in as a 10.



    No idea how we will line up to be honest. NL will probs be keeping it that way. I remember a few surprises in the past like Mulgrew lining up on the left wing.

  19. Marc CRC



    God bless wee shay may he rest in peace


    A sad day indeed Marc,big hugs and much love to you my friend,i can understand your devastation as you had built up a relationship over the years.


    Wee shay will be in my thoughts and prayers




  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Celtic’s Kieran Tierney has suffered a reaction to his ankle injury and is now a doubt for Sunday’s match v Rangers.


    From STV

  21. MADMITCH on 29TH MARCH 2019 1:07 PM


    KL @ 11.43







    Brexit is just one of many manifestations of a desire in the electorate for simple solutions to complex issues — caught up in a world where personal ambition and individual gain are now the only games in town for the upper middle class, privately educated establishment elite.



    >> Only a simple answer was sought,no complexity needed,thats why it turned into a racistfest as the social,economic and political turns from that vote were ignored/shunned<> Brexit mob-made up of a)disaffected working class who werr betrayed by the war criminal and dyscalsic broon who couldnt count and Alistair dalling whose hair colour went when our country ran out of money


    b)tory/fascist scum who want their empire back and had been anglin to get out of europe from day1<>Denial here MM your wee labour and unionists are as much to blame- see above answer<> Agreed like baking your wedding cake,turning out beautifully then being asked to extract the flour-the chaos stems from having no deep debate prior to vote,ironically its kinda happened since vote,as the impact of such stupidity sinks in<> Only rigged as no debate was outlined beforehand say in contrast to indy ref where the what ifs were laid out by both sides in white paper<>Kinda agree,tho she personifies the chaos a remainer in charge of brexit,leadin a oarty that knows what it does not want-corbyn is just asconfused<>We get the mps we deserve.i hope after this we get a more participative democracy,tho i dont see it as regardless of party politicians of all sway are full o it<<



    Good day mm,onto the game against nooklub for me




  22. FAVOURITE UNCLE on 29TH MARCH 2019 1:19 PM


    D.U.P. get a billion pounds and SAMMY WILSON can’t get a new shirt that he can close at the neck.




    ? Although wee Sammy’s face looks like he has a tourniquet applied.

  23. Very sad news about young Shay. Terrible for his family and friends including you Marc having to break the news.