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. mike in toronto on

    Terrible news about Shay.



    Torontony… square sausage is always tempting, but I have plans for Sunday morning just after the game, so woulnd’t make it back from the club in time. But, if you have an evening free, the barbq joint or Gamberonis would be good.

  2. Ant @ 2.45 / 2



    The Nats are cut for the same simple solution to a complex problem as the Brexit mentalists.



    They are Identity politics nutters who want to blame someone for their own issues — that someone is “Westminster”. The Brexit mentalists just want to blame Brussels for theiur own issues.



    Just like the 1930’s — when you have someone to blame you have made it politically.



    As for the “Yes” vote IndyRef perormance — you are having a laugh.


    I have seen better manifesto’s written clearly on the back of a stamp.

  3. Paul67 et al



    How often have we been told on here the importance of the benefits of the appliance of science to sports medicine and to sporting fitness? Too often in my book. Fact is you can go back any number of years, all the way to Jock Stein to find a Celtic manager who actually kept the fans informed re the players fitness. And Jock wasn’t averse to an injection or two if it put the likes of Bobby Murdoch on the park. More recently there has been a communication breakdown re the nature and consequence of injuries, with Brendan Rodgers the latest to leave us in the dark. Ronny wasn’t a whole lot better. And yet, despite the absence of useful information we are asked to believe that our best hopes lie with a player, talented though he is, who has not played for months, Tom Rogic. Sounds more like alchemy to me.

  4. madmitch



    Would that function allows us to edit your posts? If so it could prove useful!

  5. R.I.P. wee Shay. God bless you and your loved ones.



    Imo, while I would love to have Rogic playing, I don’t think you can field a player who hasn’t played for months. I feel too that we cannot gamble with Kieran Tierney. He has played so much and been kicked to hell and back most games (with the connivance of too many MIBs). I would play Johnny Hayes at Left Back and Brown, McGregor and Henderson in the middle. For the rest, I hope Benkovic can play but Ajer is more than capable if called upon. As for forwards, I would play (if fit) the speed merchants Forrest, Burke and Eduard.



    The nerves are jangling already. Just beat them, Celtic.

  6. Bada


    Yes,Westminister being treated to a taste of the” kulture” and traditions.

  7. Ray Winstone's Big Disembodied Heid on

    It is indeed an Orange band leading a ragtag bunch of Brexiteers outside The Houses of Parliament.

  8. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Ffs,you can bet your last pound, we will be footing the bill for transport and hotels for these clowns.

  9. bada/ray



    Interestingly enough the said flute band, from Livingstone, were set up by the BBC’s favourite Question Time audience member, Billy Mitchell, member o the ludge, who has appeared no less than four times on the show, the most recent in the QT broadcast from Motherwell. By invitation from the BBC! Stood as a UKIP candidate in a 2013 by-election in Coatbridge where he won the sum total of 34 votes. Not only a plant, a BBC plant!

  10. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    My wife and I can’t decide which is the best Irish pub grub we’ve ever had



    – cheese sandwich in the gravediggers



    -omeltte and chips in Ryan’s of Parkgate Street



    any thoughts anybody?

  11. Good evening CQN



    Terribly sad news about young Shay, may he rest in peace, and God give his family the strength to go on. ???



    D. :)

  12. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    Hi Marc – so sorry to hear about the wee man – his poor family – I can’t imagine their feeling of loss. Me and Wee BGFC and his mum will say a prayer for them, and for you.



    God bless.




  13. So guys who is injured who is not???


    Are we any further forward in being able to guess what our beloved hoops team will be on Sunday??



    Just had it confirmed McNeill suite for me and the bhoy on Sunday, lovely jubbly. ????






    D. :)

  14. God Bless Shay. Thoughts and prayers with him, his family and friends at this terrible time. Also with you Marc.



    Take care.

  15. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    RIP Shay



    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,


    and let perpetual light shine upon them.


    May they rest in peace.




  16. GreeninbingleyinOslo on




    Bacon and cabbage in Gallagher’s Boxty House.

  17. Terrible news regarding Wee Shay. Sincerest condolences to his family, relatives and friends. Special mention to Marc CRC who worked tirelessly on his behalf.



    At dheis láimh Dhé go raibh a anam óg uasal.

  18. Ivehadto: met a Mexican at the match in the Aviva last Tuesday and he was so impressed with his pint of Guinness and Tayro cheese and onion crisps ( a classic Irish pub meal) that he took a picture of them and sent it to all his family and friends via Twitter.

  19. team for sunday, fallon hogg and Gemmell. geatons mcneil and clark, johnstone and Wallace,,crum divers and murphy, what do you think.hh.