Wings, engine room, set plays, getting over the line


Daizen Maeda has not started a game since scoring in the first minute at Ibrox five weeks ago.  His return to action for the last 20 minutes against Hearts last week is surely not enough to see him through 90 minutes tomorrow.

Ahead of that Ibrox game I suggested Callum McGregor’s natural fitness would be enough to make him a starter.  This confidence was misplaced, even Callum needs time to reach peak fitness, the same is true of Daizen.  How to use the player is Brendan Rodgers’ first big decision.

James Forrest’s autumn bloom has been enough to see Celtic into the Scottish Cup Final and maintain a three-point lead at the top of the table.  He played almost all of last week’s win over Hearts, the first time this has happened since November, and he got over an hour at Dundee a week earlier.  Neither James nor Daizen are in a great place to start, though.

My feeling is we will get a combined 90 minutes out of these two, it would be too much of a risk to start two players who are short of full match practice.  Daizen correctly gets the plaudits for spooking Record Loser James Tavernier, but James tormented the defender for years before Daizen, so whoever starts will fill the role well.

Nicolas Kuhn will start on the right.  Brendan likes to freshen up both wings; Luis Palma is only trusted on the left and James is better on the right than Daizen.  That being the case, we can expect Daizen to start on the left, replaced by James around at 65 minutes.  Nicolas will be hooked 10 minutes later, James will move right to allow Luis to fill in on the left.

The engine room is what most worries Newco.  They were schooled by Callum McGregor earlier in the season and are keen to smother his play.  How effective this is will depend on movement around Callum.  In particular, Liam Scales.

Newco allow Liam time on the ball (unlike Cameron).  He needs to make those short 20 yard runs into space, with and without the ball, which will give Celtic options when progressing play.

We seem to have missed Reo Hatate all season, from his bizarre absence at the start of the campaign, to his two lengthy injuries since.  A week ago, he was back at his dynamic best.  If Reo brings the same energy tomorrow, it will be a long afternoon for the visitors.

Newco are the away team and I expect they will use this status as permission to play counterattacking football, which they did successfully in Lisbon against Benfica.  Contain McGregor, press from halfway and break quickly down the wings.  It will be a lung-busting afternoon for all four Celtic defenders, but they are each pacy.

Set-piece plays will be important to Newco.  Inside the box, we can expect theatrics (again), but they will be keen to pick up a freekick pretty much anywhere in the Celtic half, which would give them an opportunity to load the box.  Great play in general can be undone by set plays.  This is Newco’s best bet, expect to see them wait for contact from behind and drop like a sack of spuds.

Only two of Newco’s likely starting 11 have won at Celtic Park before, once with and once without fans.  Those two, Tavernier and Barisic, are expected to be abetted in defence by Soutar and Davies.

No one has confidence in this defence, and we should expect them to do little more with the ball than get rid of it as soon as they receive.  Poor Barisic will still be suffering Abadaicitis every time he hears the Celtic Park crowd roar.  Kuhnicitis is a similar condition and the only known cure is to leave Glasgow.

Two of their number: Cantwell and Silva, strike me as poorly disciplined players who are provoked into lashing out when faced with a talent deficit.  We need to let them play their game and not be distracted from our own.  Both are likely to be carded.

There are lots of reasons to be encouraged ahead of this game.  Celtic are a team who know how to get a league race over the line, we are at home and have no need to be anxious for the win.  Crowd sentiment is notoriously fickle everywhere and Newco will hope to get nerves jangling in the opening 20 minutes.  Our support last week was a real inspiration, same again from all, please

Enjoy your day.

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  1. Tom McLaughlin on



    they stuck in an extra bit of gate so you now need to slalom in. that was to try stop the double shufflers.


    its that that is causing the hassle



    What hassle?

  2. 67 European Cup Winners on

    In pure football terms I genuinely believe we have a team capable of giving them a lesson tomorrow


    All the little indicators are in our favour


    We are at home


    Full squad


    We are peaking at the right time


    We have momentum


    The Huns have a few out (allegedly)



    But 60 years of watching this game has taught me never to get confident



    If the referee allows a game of football


    If the same referee does not make an honest mistake


    If we keep 11 men on the park



    We will win



    Hail Hail one and all – have fun




  3. Bhoyjoebelfast on



    Big favour.,.’.Super’ girl by Graham Bonney was a 60s hit…when we made the crossing on the belfast Glasgow route we sang Hey super celts…forget the rest of the words….another catchy tune with yhe right lyrics.



  4. lets all do the huddle on

    What hassle?




    it takes slightly longer to negotiate so multiply that by the number of fans going in and it all adds up to a queue!!

  5. Re Ger 57


    A note on monies raised by all you kind Celts on LQB,Cqn&Sentinel Celts



    Wreath £150


    CFC foundation £210




    Total raised £360




    Thanks so much to all for stepping out for our friend Gerry Chambers🙏💚


    Thank you also Marc Celticrollercoaster for overseeing all transfers.👏💚


    Well done all,a tremendous effort


    God willing Ger57 will oversee a victory tomorrow :-)



    Hail Hail

  6. Phil’s latest piece of gossip (I know) is suggesting that Butland has handed in a transfer request.



    Apologies if it’s BS.




  7. Now that Clement has got over his Joe Pesci moment in recent days we can get on with the football. That’s the problem with a lot of these foreign managers they have no sense of humour. God be with the days of Jock, Cloughie, Big Ron etc.



    The Hoops have a full bill of health going into tomorrows match, there is the Rodgers factor, the demon Kyogo and the Dynamo Maeda and an attack that has been a huge problem for Rangers so let’s feed that line with plenty of ball.



    Fairly strong bench and maybe Adam who was not spooked by his first experience in the derby cauldron can give us a repeat performance with another cracker. Celts have the title in sight and will have tobe at their best and sustain it with no slacking off in the second half.

  8. Could one of you Sentinel Celts please post on there Thanks.



    BSR welcome back




  9. bigrailroadblues on

    The more negative stories I hear about the hun, the more I get worried. I’ve always been that way though. Thrash them Celtic, so I can go to Ireland on Monday with a jaunty step. Please m

  10. Tom McLaughlin on

    Jeez. Imagine having to queue to get into a football stadium with a crowd approaching 60,000.

  11. Tom McLaughlin on




    I’m just relieved it’s an early kick-off as it means I won’t miss the Eurovision Song Contest.

  12. I really enjoyed Brendan’s presser today. He really knows how to handle the media and is a credit to our club.



    He is always positive and erudite in his opinions and answers – no bile, no rancour, no petty point-scoring – we are lucky to have him. Tomorrow is ‘it’ HH

  13. CALL ME GERRY on 


    Phil’s latest piece of gossip (I know) is suggesting that Butland has handed in a transfer request.


     Apologies if it’s BS.







    Phil Mac is an anagram of bs.



    8 years of PLC sanctioned same club lie tickets after Hun promotion in 2016 which Brendan1 was carefully recruited to create a diversionary mass psychosis in Timdom which tricked Tims into going along with PLC sneakily sanctioned same club lie tickets, Rangers 2012 £49 to Sevco 2016 £49 = PLC agreed same club agreement, and PM has covered for the PLC whilst they have sneakily shafted gullible Tims who have been betrayed by Celtic PLC, CQN, Sentinel Celts, Celtic supporters trust lol, Celtic supporters association lol, main CQN blowhards, Setting free the bears, Bournesouprecipe, Chairbhoy, Clunk, Paul 67, and many more succulent little lambs that they are.



    The x 60,000 are experts at Moving on but Moving on…to where?



    The next PLC gift wrapped Title to the Huns?



    The Grifters who have played you all before when the Huns were in trouble are all still in office. 👀️



    The yet to be announced undercover sleekit MOD fae the sleekit Vogue who deletes non happy clappy posts….here’s a starter for 10 you useful idiot.



    PS, Hun ticket prices.


    2012 = £49


    2016 = £49 [After Sevco promotion] = Same Club Lie.


    2018 = £52


    2022 = £54


    Shameful Timmy Weakness = Idiots FC. Kerrydayle Street.



  14. ONENIGHTINLISBON on 10TH MAY 2024 5:35 PM



    These ticketless guys would fill up all those empty seats of folk going to weddings etc though…..







  15. the phone ins are talking about jamesie as if he is 42 not 32. for goodness sake.

  16. bigrailroadblues on

    You can never have enough good times. And Tims always have good times. It’s who we are. 💚

  17. bigrailroadblues on



    Had no idea what age he was. Still a very effective football player.

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