This is not a drill


This season, Newco present the greatest domestic test to Celtic since Aberdeen in season 2014-15.  More significantly, their results in Europe defined expectations.  Having eliminated Young Boys and Feyenoord, they are in the Europa League knock out stage.

This would be a dream season for them were it not for their two defeats to Celtic: one at Ibrox in the league, the other this month’s League Cup Final defeat at Hampden.  There is a reason for that.

Celtic are an exceptional team.  Better than Porto, who topped Newco’s Europa League group, better Young Boys and Feyenoord.  I can think of only two regrettable moments in our season so far (Scott Brown’s handball against Cluj and Ryan Chistie’s lunge against Livingston).

Tomorrow we get the chance to beat them at a third Glasgow venue of the season: Celtic Park, which, due to Newco’s inability to deal with celebrating visiting Celtic fans, will have 59,000 Celtic fans and around 700 visitors.  Newco believe, having drawn in a half-empty stadium in Oporto and away to a weak team in Rotterdam, they can cope on the road.  They will find Celtic Park is a virulently hostile an environment.

Like most of you, I hope to see Mikey Johnston on the left, James Forrest on the right and Ryan Christie in the No. 10 role, but Neil Lennon has shown no inclination of picking this formation, which would leave Olivier Ntcham on the bench.

This morning, I watched our Ibrox win in September.  Olivier was exceptional throughout, as he was the first time these teams met last season.  If he is in the 10 role, we have nothing to fear.  The full back positions are crucial.  Newco flourished on their right wing in particular at Hampden, If Boli Bolingoli and either Forrest or Johnston dominate that side of the field, the entire flow of the game will be different.

The greatest risk tomorrow is from a red card, but we have experience all over the field, even Jeremie Frimpong has some lessons under his belt.

Odsonne Edouard terrifies them.  They cannot tackle him, cannot shove him off the ball, and after Hampden, they will even be reluctant to kick him.  I expect Odsonne to be as calm and devastating as usual.  Look out for a late cameo.  Leigh Griffiths endured a torrid 2019.  He has scored three times this calendar year, in games Celtic scored 5, 7 and 5 goals respectively.  The script is written for a rejuvenating end to the year for the player.

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  1. Paul67



    I think Mikey Johnston will start on the bench at the expense preserving Ntcham


    MacGregor, Brown midfield trio, with Christie Forrest and Edouard auto picks.



    Anything else is too light for Sevco’s cluggers in midfield, if we avoid defeat


    they’ll never have won at Celtic Park in the decade they were created, even Rangers will only have won once at Celtic Park in the same decade.



    Too much was made of Sevco’s ‘dominance’ in the the League Cup final by SMSM creating the illusion that Celtic hadn’t beaten them twice already, with a depleted side, this will work in Celtic’s favour for the home game.



    I despise this fixture especially now that routine ritual humpings are off the menu?



    So they think CSC

  2. OLDTIM67 @1 42



    I think 1994 ?’



    Celtic 2 -Deidco 4 .



    The game with the guy in the posh stand waving a noose made from a Celtic scarf at the Celtic Board and the likes of Murray and Donald Findlay being subjected to attack from a flying Mars Bar




    Thanks for that info. I’ve tried for a couple of hours trying to remember when it was.

  4. Look out for a late Cameo – Paul67 – talking about French Eddie. Surely a typo.



    Surely Eddie will be on from the start against Sevco?



    If he is fit to start against St Mirren he must be fit for Sevco?



    D. :)

  5. OLDTIM67 –



    I’d Google it . My memory ain’t the best .



    Off oot to the Boleyn Tavern ( a fine Victorian boozer ) for a pub lunch and some beer before heading to West Ham v Leicester .

  6. Old Tim:


    ` I’ve tried for a couple of hours trying to remember when it was.`



    Long before the `couple of hours`had expired, I would have forgotten what I was trying to remember so well done, Davy Bhoy :-))

  7. South of Tunis/Old Tim


    I’ve googled it. You are correct.


    The game where Sammy scored 2 at Ibrox, was originally scheduled for Jan 1st 2011, but was moved to the 2nd, for T.V purposes.


    The article, then goes on to say, the last game played on January 1st was the game you said, SOT.




    My memory has been going downhill for about 4 year’s, and getting worse by the day,I know it’s an age thing,but it’s hard to handle sometimes.


    OLDTIM67 on 28TH DECEMBER 2019 2:38 PM









    My memory has been going downhill for about 4 year’s, and getting worse by the day,I know it’s an age thing,but it’s hard to handle sometimes.



    SO long as your bank balance does not go you are ok.

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Why bother what some ex-R@ngers employee writes in some dying rag that reaches out to a particular constituency?



    More to the point, why publicise it, generating clicks and cash for said dying rag?



    Monday to Friday (on average) , this rag is now selling a fraction over 100k copies in Scotland daily.



    (Circulation at the start of the millennium was closer to 800k).



    Some context – that’s the equivalent of an attendance DROP of +50,000 for home matches at Celtic Park from Martin O’Neill’s first season to now.



    Ignore it and focus on what’s real.



    It will thus die more quickly and stop annoying you.






    Hail hail




    SO long as your bank balance does not go you are ok.



    Funnily enough, My bank account was got into a couple of years ago.


    9 hrs ago


    Kevin McKenna: I salute Jacob Rees-Mogg for his Christian faith and his message of goodwill



    aye right kev .there is an expression in glasgow for people of his ilk.




  13. Logic goes out the window for me, when we play the Huns. I know we have better players, I know we are at home with 59,000 supporters, but I still worry.


    These games take on a life of their own, and anything can and often does happen,


    Ye can all say what ye like but I’ll still be a bundle of nerves right up to kick off.

  14. Ralston is saving the Pope the bother of declaring Alfredo the patron saint of sleekitness.



    As far as tomorrow goes, apologies but I get nervous now they are a well-organised team capable of putting us off our game.


    For those on the last blog saying no huns would get in our starting XI . . . mmmm, did you watch the last game? Their inferior XI bossed us all over the park. We were outplayed, out thought and out fought. We couldn’t put three passes together, didn’t force their keeper to make a save and had two shots on goal.



    Other than Forster, none of our players would have made a Team of the Day from that game. Our star players were made to look less than ordinary by very ordinary players. How did that happen? Why did so many of our players disappear from the action?




    I hope in the two weeks since then, our players and our staff have learnt that we don’t win against them just by showing up – ok, it happened at Hampden but we got out of jail thanks to one man.



    Lenny got the result last time but he needs to get the team and the tactics spot on this time. If we play at our best we should win.



    Having better players on paper counts for nothing if they don’t show up.


    I won’t relax until we are 3 up and Morelos has been sent off.



    Peace and Goodwill to everyone.

  15. Anyone remember Broonie being played on right of midfield for a few games? Was it under WGS, Delia or BR?


    At the time consensus on here was it worked ok but I can’t remember why. Who was it to accommodate?

  16. bigrailroadblues on

    Good evening all from the Star bar. I’m a nervous wreck already. Gerrintaethum Celtic!!!!

  17. So…got a few wee bits of cash for xmas…came out and thought “right buy yersel something nice”… took a bit of choosing but eventually settled on 8 cans of lager and a bottle of wine. Now sitting in the Winds wae the other £200 still tae spend.



    There’s something wrang wae ma priorities.😭😭



    Hail hail




  18. Lhads……….





    nae links to the tawdry tabloid that denigrates us and ours.



    Leave that rag to the mouth-breathers.




  19. DENIABHOY @ 3:37


    Good post. Right on the money. Apart from Forster, we were piss poor all over the park in the LCF, particularly in the first 30 minutes. We were lucky not to get humped. We all know about the temperament of Morelos, but the fact remains, he scores a lot of goals. We need to concentrate on nullifying him for the entire 90 minutes. He will go wide to target Frimpong and Boli, or Ajer if he drifts left, and he will get on the end of crosses and free kicks, particularly at. The back post. We are the only team he hasn’t scored against, but at some point that will end. We can’t rely on big Fraser having the game of his life again. If we can keep focused for 90 minutes, we can keep Morelos’s ineffectual run going.



  20. Matt – to right there is you can get a 10 pack for the same price as 8.


    Tut Tut Tut.



    D. :)

  21. BRRB – same I’m trying to chill in the house today.



    All I can think of is beating this new club but same shite that supports them, that includes the meeja.



    D. :)

  22. very big game tomorrow. nl will have to get it right(tactics) and we will have to play a lot better than we did 2nd half against st. mirren.


    i am very nervous.

  23. Do supporters of any other winning teams like to point out how poor their team were in one game ( which said team won) ?

  24. DAVID66



    I clocked that deal but it was for they miserable wee 440ml cans. I went for the big manly 568ml cans and got 8 for a tenner instead of 10 of the wans for £9.45…close call and while the 10 wee can deal worked out at 0.0001p per ml cheaper than the big manly 8 can deal….I decided sid the cost…go for the bragging rights.



    Hail hail




  25. Football is a funny game. Watford were anchored to foot of EPL without a win since Sept and certs for relegation. Then they beat Man United, get a creditable away draw against high flying Sheffield United and today beat Villa 3 nil.


    Villa now in bottom 3, maybe McGinn will be wondering what if.

  26. MATT STEWART on 28TH DECEMBER 2019 4:03 PM



    “8 cans of lager and a bottle of wine”



    That sounds like a recipe for a very …’sair heed’ – good luck Matt!

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