A cursory glance at the table suggests St Johnstone are far off their double trophy winning form of last season. The second most successful team in Scottish football over the last decade (three times more trophies than the cackle of solitary winners) are eighth in the league, five points off a top six spot.
The roof fell in on them last week as Livingston produced three goals from 35% possession and four shots on target, a statistical anomaly for a St Johnstone defence that conceded only six goals in their other eight league games this season. This is a team with a goalkeeper who can keep them out and score at the other end, and a defence which offers opponents few opportunities.
They will be no more adventurous than Ferencvaros when they pitch up at Celtic Park tomorrow afternoon, we will need to be at our best.
That “best” is pretty decent right now. I’m still wallowing in the Rogic-Jota move from Fir Park and its cousin, the Jota-Kyogo goal on Tuesday. Add in the play that saw Ferenc exposed so frequently after the opening goal and we should be confident we can do the same to the winners of last season’s cups.
Dare we ponder the form of St Mirren, unbeaten in six since their 6-0 drubbing at Celtic Park? A home game against league leaders, Newco, is unlikely to phase Jim Goodwin.
Real Betis took a point at home to Bayer Leverkusen last night. Barring an unlikely result for Celtic in Germany (or Ferencvaros in Spain), Leverkusen and Betis are likely to occupy first and second place in the group. The Conference place is our most achievable target.