Through the most testing times Celtic have narrowed the gap


Through the most testing times: illness, injury and international absences; incredibly, Celtic managed to narrow the gap at the top of the table to two points.  Newco’s lead can be shattered tonight.  By their own decision making earlier in the season, they travel to Celtic Park to play before an exclusively home crowd under a Glasgow night sky.

Ange Postecoglou still has challenges.  Callum McGregor was injured against Alloa and may be risked.  Daizen Maeda played for Japan in Tokyo yesterday, I doubt we have had a player play on successive days in 80 years, and never at opposite ends of the globe, but he is likely to feature tonight.

Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate will be crucial to our performance, neither has seen anything like the atmosphere or pressure they will experience tonight.  I expect Reo especially to be kicked and elbowed from early on.  He will receive no protection from the referee.

Win, and the world is their’s. Celtic would go top of the league with Tom Rogic, David Turnbull, Christopher Jullien and Kyogo Furuhashi still to return to the squad.

Newco are better than the string of Scottish clubs we have beaten by a single goal recently.  Before shipping three extraordinary goals against Ross County on Saturday, they conceded only once in nine domestic fixtures.  They are top of the league and champions for a reason, any presumptions about tonight on our part should be dismissed.

Enjoy yourself tonight.  If you are there in person, play your part to the fullest until the last kick of the ball.  Make the most of the night, the lights, the stadium and the hurt you felt last season.

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  1. i remember Madden gave us 2 penalties against the huns


    in the Scottish cup semi which we won 4-0 with the week later


    we won the league against them being 5-0 in front after an hour


    at Celtic Park



    Only thing is when he gave us 2 penalties we were already 2-0


    in front and cruising so would we get a penalty tonight in the last


    minute if it was 0-0



    Doubt it

  2. Madden denied Leigh Griffiths a penalty when Sendros brought him down in the act of shooting. Knowing Leigh, at that time, he would have scored. The score was 1-1when it happened so that answers a previous question as to whether he would be as obliging if the game hung in the balance, por cierto

  3. Pingback: Through the most testing times Celtic have narrowed the gap | Celtic FC News Now

  4. The only doubt I have tonight is our inability to take the clear cut chances that we continually create. Who knows tonight’s game may be the time that we do take them all if we do expect a cricket score! :)) por cierto

  5. My calendar says it’s Groundhog Day today.



    I really hope it isn’t, considering the last two seasons.



    Mon the hoops!

  6. Come on Celtic…



    Blow them away. We’ve worked hard in difficult circumstances to claw this back and tonight feels like a reward for the endeavour to get there. A draw wouldn’t be the end of the world given our current restraint on resources. A defeat would be the continuation of the indian sign over us.



    Madden’s a xxxx ! though so we’ll need to score more than 1 and I think the crowd tonight will be very important given the pent-up emotions of last year, empty grounds and an all-in love affair with the affable big Aussie and team.




  7. These games always take on a life of their own.


    We are due a good win, dominating without scoring has become a bad habit.


    We will end that tonight, I just know it.

  8. Think it was Clint Hill that halved Griffiths on the edge of the 6 yard box, a stonewaller that Madden refused to award

  9. Current ‘team’ doing the rounds….



























  10. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “They are top of the league and champions for a reason”




    Three reasons actually, although two of them aren’t around anymore.


    Good if we win tonight but it’s still the same three points you get for beating the teams at the other end. Need to be relentless.

  11. Jota for me is the key.



    Concerned about the left side of defence if Taylor and Starfelt start as I expect

  12. a comfortable win this evening……the Highlanders have ploughed a path…



    now its oor turn to



    smiley set oor fasers to Malky thing



    Taysiders in Space




  13. Tom McLaughlin on

    Just got off the 900 at Buchanan Street bus station. Walked down to bottom of Hope St and sitting in an Indian Restaurant waiting for my mate to finish work at 1pm then a nice lunch followed by pre-match drinks on the way to Paradise.



    This is my first visit to Glasgow city centre since February 2020.



    The nerves are astir and the old tummy protesting but that will mostly be hunger. Missed breakfast.



    Hail Hail and 2-0 Celtic.

  14. Four requests – don’t get beat tonight and don’t make McGregor man of the match


    If you are in the ground back the team for 90 minutes, whatever happens.


    If we get chances, put them away, other than that destroy them, pulverise them


    grind them into the dust, Come on Celtic, we can do this!!!!!!

  15. Not overly nervous at the moment.


    We have a number of match winners in the squad.


    I feel we also have a softness to the team.


    Hopefully, the former is to the fore tonight

  16. AP is going to be smarter using subs IMO, he delayed at Tynecastle last midweek, and it nearly caught us,O’Riley and Hetate were done after about 65 minutes, we can put 5 subs on,use them when required.

  17. We’ll own the ball tonight so we have to as far as possible, limit Madden awarding them FKs to get them up the pitch.



    If they score tonight it will only come from a set piece. A night for holding them up when they’re attacking, not trying to win the ball early, otherwise Madden will set the stage.

  18. Come on Celtic





    You are not answering never will be george falloway


    Your racism popping out on prev blog.



    Solid point. The answer maybe that Val McDermid is of course ‘in with the bricks’ at Raith Rovers & the SNPcult. The ’cause’ will have played a role.



    Maybe you should listen to the raiths ex child and community officer and how they explain to boys and girls and run as a family/community racist imbecile



    Cult! Is that the britnat cult you can’t admit to being a member of.



  19. It’s singalong time on a packed Kings X- Waverley train.


    I will be a happy Celt with a 1-0 win tonight.

  20. “Enjoy yourself tonight. If you are there in person, play your part to the fullest until the last kick of the ball. Make the most of the night, the lights, the stadium and the hurt you felt last season”



    This is the night we all stand together, roar on the team….and sing CELTIC songs – the world will be watching, let’s give them something to think about.



    Inspirational piece, Paul. You’re right to emphasise the dangers, however if offered this position in the opening months of the season, we would have grabbed it with both hands.



    Let’s just win it – if we do it will galvanise this new squad.

  21. Van Bronckhorst would appear to be quite a cautious coach, preferring to hold was he has instead of going for more goals. The tactic backfired in Aberdeen and Dingwall.


    Expect him to play five in the middle of the park and double up on Jota. They will be delighted with a nil nil.



    If Celtic bring perpetual motion and energy to the game, and make use of all five subs when that energy flags, we will win.

  22. Bada,



    Yep,I agree.Hope I am wrong but Hatate looks like he is feeling it after 70 mins.Not just Hearts game,but Saturday as well.Could be big roles for Mc Carthy and maybe Soro,who I liked at Tynecastle,when he came on.


    If Calmac is good to go,I think we win.

  23. I would obviously dislike defeat immensely but it’s not quite so bad if it’s fair and square.



    What gets my blood boiling would be if it’s Tavernier (pen) or a ridiculous red card for one of our team.

  24. HH


    practice and train like there bloody battles



    and your bloody battles will be like practice.



    ‘A’ game Celtic




  25. Their keeper struggles to get down to low shots and get back up, shoot low when the chance presents itself, they will try to crock our pacy guys so hope they are forewarned of this, they cannot double up on everyone so having someone to switch play is essential we have capable passers Reo Matt and Calum if he makes it, go for it Celtic, destroy them if possible do not take your foot off the peddle, work for the whole match as a team , do that the result will come. Good luck Celtic 3 points please.

  26. Hope Ange ignores the madcap posters advocating choosing players just back on a ten hour flight. Neil Lennon tried that tactic against Juventus, back in 2013 was it, when he threw in Big Effie straight aff a plane fae Africa then to watch the big man misjudge the ball only tae see it bouncing ower his heid, and shortly afterwards bouncing into the back o the Celtic net. No no no. Play the players who are fit and have been in and around the team the last couple of weeks or so. If that is Welsh or McCarthy then so beit.


    There is magic in the night, the end of which we will be top of the league.




  27. JHB



    “if offered this position in the opening months of the season, we would have grabbed it with both hands.”



    About the same time as you were predicting a struggle for sixth place Paul was suggesting we might be in a position to go top should we beat them in the New Year game.

  28. Think they will line up,4 -5 – 1,tonight.If fit,Banjo Boy being the guy to help out,with Aribo making runs from deeper.Whatever,we must be aware of his movement.A good Catholic boy,and a fine player.


    Take our chances.Do that the games easy.

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