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This is not a drill

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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. Just about to leave – got some getting-out music on – Frankie Miller “Be Good To Yourself” It’s all up to you Celtic, makes us happy and proud today.

  2. So envious of all ye Bhoys heading to Parkhead,

     

    It’s 11.30 Mass for me & then home alone watching the Telly.

     

    I will be with ye in spirit hopefully it’s a great hunskelping day but regardless we will all wake up Monday Morning still Unrepentant Fenian Bassas, how bad is that.

  3. I HATE these games and I despise them and thur sleekit konfederates who have pedalled so much lies and hate……and guff………..and, and propped up an institution and a mindset that has held our country back and cloaked the beautiful game in so much keech.

     

     

    HHH.

  4. BANKIEBHOY1

     

    I have to agree i hate this fixture wish we never had to play them again ever , hate everything about them and what they stand for , people like sleekit sally , sourness and bomber horrible people and of course their support ! Mon the Good Ghuys !!

  5. Big Jimmy

     

     

    Paddy came through his op just fine, but suffering a bit with

     

    the recovery, but still managed to get Celtic tv on his phone, but 11.30

     

    k.o he’ll need to watch it in the hospital with his heid under the covers lol.

     

    Meanwhile i’ve had to hide the whisky with the big hairy heilander on

     

    the box in the cupboard, too tempting, so please Celtic score early.

     

    H.H . Mick

  6. Park road ……………….Aye.

     

     

    Thuv spawned a load o’ sleekits. It’s the wan thing thur guid at.

     

     

    HH

  7. There is a difference involved in this match that disturbs me, but, it should still be treated as a game of football. We only get 3 points for winning this one too.

     

     

    Whatever Psychological effect it has is down to the players’ reactions to the score.

     

     

    While it’s always difficult to predict, this has the look of a tight low scoring fixture agains, so, it will probaby not be the 5:0 so often predicted by Dontbrattback of Yore.

     

     

    Best guess then is

     

     

    Celtic 13: Sevco 0 – that will be unlucky for some.

     

     

    Enjoy the game wherever you are and look after yourselves, especially you, Big Jimmy!

  8. We’ve got the line up most of us wanted. Johnston in for Ntcham.

     

     

    A statement of attacking intent. Finish this today, Celtic.

  9. MELBOURNEMICK

     

    I hope you don’t have to wait too long into the game to savour your first swally mhate ! Best wishes to Paddy HH !!

  10. CELTIC: Forster; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Christie, Johnston; Edouard.

     

    Subs: Gordon, Bitton, Griffiths, Bauer, Hayes, Rogic, Ntcham

  11. Looks like Lenny has re-considered his experimental team of the past few weeks and is less worried about their flooding the midfield now that we have Odsonne back. He is now taking the high risk strategy of having them worry about us- with Frimpong & Jamesie up one side and the in-form Mikey alongside Boli on the other. He still has N’tcham in reserve though, if it is going wrong and Olly is a player who enjoys and turns up for these games

  12. I have to admit that Jullien and Bolingoli make me a tad nervous but, overall, I like that team.

     

     

    For me, neither of today`s teams look particularly solid at the back so it could be a high scoring game. If so, I would hope for SFTB`s 13-0.

  13. PARK ROAD 67

     

     

    I’ll be happy with a deflected 93 min. winner mhate my thirst

     

    can wait.

     

    Big Jimmy meant to add that i hoped your recovery is getting

     

    better, but if you are able to then get out, even if it’s only for

     

    a few minutes, everybody needs someone to talk to.

     

    H.H . Mick

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