The script is written


Notwithstanding the possibility of further setbacks from tonight’s international games, or from commercial flights back to Glasgow, the core of Neil Lennon’s team for Saturday looks stable.

Assuming Christopher Jullien is fit, he will play alongside Shane Duffy and Kristoffer Ajer, with Vasilis Barkas in goal.  The central metronome of the team: Callum McGregor and Scott Brown, will be in-situ, Jeremie Frimpong and debutant Diego Laxalt will occupy the wingback roles.

That leaves three places for the manager to fill.  Albian Ajeti is now beyond his expected recuperation period and should be ready for 90 minutes, but Neil will be mindful of how his decision to throw a recuperating Mohamed Elyounoussi into December’s League Cup Final backfired.  Moi was a passenger at Hampden and Celtic did not spark until after he was replaced.  Albian plays a different role and I expect he will get the nod.

That leaves two slots to fill, a forward and an attacking mid.

Odsonne Edouard’s health will be assessed when he arrives in the country less than 24 hours before kick-off.  It is a lot to ask of a player to start under these circumstances, but he persistently terrifies the Newco defence.  If he has remained asymptomatic throughout it is likely we will see him at some point.

I would start Leigh Griffiths in a heartbeat.  He has experience performing in and winning these fixtures.  His attitude is perfect for them and he is a born goal-scorer; for years, the sugar in our tea.  Patryk Klimala will be full of confidence after his remarkable recovery and goal in Perth last time out.  I doubt he will start but he is a striker – just think back to the aforementioned League Cup Final, when Lewis Morgan started up front.  That really was an understrength Celtic team.

Ryan Christie would fill the attacking mid role, were he not excluded while healthy, but this is one position Neil is drowning in options for.  Olivier Ntcham is most likely to get the start, but Elyounoussi, David Turnbull and Tom Rogic are all more than capable, although I would hold Tom for a late goal-scoring cameo.

It is understandable that news of pandemic exclusions are alarming, but frankly, I don’t know what anyone is worried about.   The script is written for this one.

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  1. counting minutes towards game , cant wait



    will watch in pub, limited to 180 and all siting with that’s socials distance thing.



    roll on 9:30pm sat night when team is announced.



    when team was announced in December 2019 for celtic park fixture v them , i nearly choked on my beer


    MJ wide left and JF wide right, two players who have been anonymous v them



    MJ a few times and JF an expert at the anomality v them



    I said to some mates that’s us handed midfield to Sevco



    sadly that’s what the team on paper did, ie gave them the midfield



    Hopefully Neil has learnt this lesson to stop trying to pull surprises out the hat that eventually fail



    a few of my fears for team selection


    1. he will play Moi and Kilmala up front that would be a total disaster


    2. play 3 at the back with an unfit CH in Julian 3 at the back makes CH run far more left and right, we play that and it will be 2 half time 5 the winner utter suicide

  2. Good morning CQN from a dry and mild Garngad



    Today and tomorrow are key in our preparation for the Manky, Hun, Zombie game. How many of our squad will come back safe.



    I take it when players come back from international duty we are making the a wee bubble of their own or how does it work in case the infection isn’t showing in them yet and they could bring down the full squad???



    Feckin hell there’s more to worry about before 12:30 on Saturday…..



    Stupid, stupid internationals should be banned by law, how can theyvenfirce anyone to follow guidelines when there are 30 to 40 players and staff all meeting from different countries etc.



    D :)

  3. lets all do the huddle on

    James McClean is a hopeless player, all he does is run in to people….




    i think hes a very good player



    but does also do a lot of running into folk and getting booked, but has a lot of ability

  4. In ither news……………….



    “It’s aw guid wi’ the huns an’ there’s something bad abooot the ‘tic……”








  5. weebobbycollins on

    Odds on them winning have been slashed….Mark Warburton thinks they’ll win on Saturday and go on to win the league…and Charlie Adam says big Nir was one of the players wanting to leave us…..


    Wow! It’s ‘old firm’ week…girfu every single one of them…

  6. WBC,



    Sadly them uns’ winning wouldn’t be a surprise.



    Have we a plan to counteract their tactics from last December (the last time we met)?



    I haven’t seen it yet. Here’s hoping it’s been kept under wraps and gets unleashed on Saturday.




  7. BIGWAVY – what we heard of a plan was to get a trick-cyclist in to fix the allegedly brittle mentality that has seen us plummet from treble-treble status to second top with a game in hand. Was it ‘Dynamo’ ;)


    Somebody said it the other day, this COVID pish will galvanise our bhoys; KTF and look forward to it!

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