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Rogic will punish anxious Newco defence

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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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399 Comments

  1. Celtic team “LEAKED”…Apparently ?

     

    Bain

     

    Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Teirney.

     

    Brown NCham, MacGregor,

     

    Forrest, Hayes, Eddy.

     

    Dont shoot the messenger !

     

    HH

  2. Big Jimmy, Sportscene is on the new BBC Scotland channel. 7pm I think.

     

     

    Meant to say the ole doors went to automatic 10 minutes ago;-)

  3. To all CQN’ers who have had a hard year due to illness & bereavement, I hope today will put a smile on your face. Technically a draw is all we need to effectively ensure the 8 in a row but I don’t know one Tim who would settle for that.

     

    As ye all know these games can take on a life of their own and throw in the vagaries of the MIBS & you cannot be certain of anything.

     

    Whilst I’d love to see us giving them a tanking, any kind of win will do for me.

  4. Great reading some of the fantastic writing from the REAL …..aul’ hauns……………. of CQN………..

     

     

    Tontine and others…………Time for a wee book I think!

     

     

    HH.

  5. Cheers JOBO, but any idea what the Freeview Channel NUMBER is for Sportscene, as I will hopefully want to watch while half drunk later Tonight , as I no longer have a video recorder to Tape the game to watch again…and again.

     

    HH

  6. Bain

     

    Lustig

     

    Ajer

     

    Boyata

     

    Hayes

     

    Forrest

     

    Brown

     

    Burke

     

    McGregor

     

    Sinclair

     

    Edouard

  7. celticrollercoaster on

    Folks, need a favour. There should be a big screen message for Shay today. If we can capture a picture of it to send to Mary and Tam that would be appreciated.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    CRC

  8. regardless with whether Tierney makes it or not today – it was negligent by the club letting him travel 4k miles to train and potentially play on a hip risking plastic pitch! he needed eased back into action and it looks like he has a breakdown.

     

     

    other players coming back , however new manager getting used the the system and team disruption will ensure todays game is not a dominant walk over everyone expects. Rangers have a more settled squad and will be dangerous – I’d take the draw right now! head says 2-2 , heart 7-1