Celtic v Kilmarnock Preview
Tomorrow sees us return to Celtic Park for the visit of Kilmarnock-our first home game since giving Hearts a 3-1 doing a whole four weeks ago! Of course,that’s nothing. The last time I was there was against Bayern Munich. Dunno why it’s been so long…
That famously impartial “SFA computer” has really worked its wonders on us this time,btw. We don’t have another home league game for ANOTHER four weeks! Figure that one out.
Anyway,I’ll be there tomorrow in an unfamiliar seat in Section 118. I think the ticket comes with an invitation to wreck the toilets-it certainly used to!
At this time of the year the games come thick and fast,punctuated of course by those horrible international breaks. As you know,I’m forever banging on about the necessity of resting players,rotating the squad,giving others a chance to show what they can do. Tomorrow presents us with an ideal opportunity to do this.
That’s not to say that I’m dismissive of Kilmarnock. They had a shocking start to the season,being knocked out of Europe by Welsh minnows Connah’s Quay Nomarks and losing their two opening league matches to Hamilton and Southside Zombies. But they’ve steadied the ship since,with a draw against Aberdeen and victories against St Johnstone and Hibs-as well as gaining some revenge on Hamilton by knocking them out of The League Cup.
They are back on a decent run of form,and we shouldn’t treat them lightly. Lenny will recall losing to them a few years back,their first victory at Celtic Park since 1957,and he won’t want a repeat of that. But the next three games are against Kilmarnock,Thistle and Hibs,so if ever there was an opportunity to give some players a stab at it,surely this should be it?
One change is certainly going to be forced upon us and that is due to the abductor injury that Boli seems to have picked up in France. Now,Neil has a couple of options here. He can go for the tried and tested Jonny Hayes,or he can give a debut to Greg Taylor,our recent signing from tomorrow’s opponents. Another option may be to move Hatem Elhamed to left back and give Jack Bauer a shot at right back. I want to see those howitzer throw-ins causing panic in the Kilmarnock defence! Of course,he could leave Elhamed on the bench as cover for any requirement across the back line and play Bauer anyway.
Christopher Jullien and Kris Ajer in central defence and don’t allow yourself to get turned on your left,Kris!
Up front could be interesting. We all know who our first picks are up there-James and I Wanna. But I think at least one of them could do with a day off. Personally I’d give them both the day off and play Vadoun Bayo and Maryan Shved. And I’d play them in at least the next two games,tell them to put on a show. There’s your chance,go out and grab it. We will only see how good they are if they are given an opportunity to do so,and these two or three matches are ideal for it.
The left hand side depends on whether Michael Johnston has regained his fitness. If not,ffs play Scott Sinclair. Otherwise,do the decent thing and let him move down to Wetherfield to be with the missus.
So Mohamed Elyanoussi it is,then…
The middle of the park will probably see Tom Rogic starting along with Broonie and either CalMac or Ryan Christie. I’d expect Ollie to come on after an hour for any one of those three.
Now that’s a lot of squad rotation to suggest in the one game,even if I’m actually suggesting that we line up similarly for all three matches over the week. It’s something I’m not generally in favour of,for obvious reasons. But I think we have the players there to deal with such disruption,and we really should be planning ahead for this type of disruption being forced upon us by injuries and suspensions.
They happen,you know!
At least by sending out a team like this at the moment,we can have the back-up of a strong bench. That’s not a luxury we will have when or if it is forced on us. So when those disruptions arrive,this way we can replace players with other experienced alternatives.
The above is the line-up I would like to see. The reality is that Neil will play Greg Taylor as replacement for Boli,and apart from that it will be the same as Thursday night. So what? It matters not a jot to me-I’ll just be as happy as a pig in the proverbial sitting in the stands and watching The Hooooops for the first time in w-a-y too long!
Above article by BMCUWP. By the time many of you read this,the hootenanny will be well under way. So there’s no guarantee of an article on Monday!
Just kidding,of course. But if you would like to send us your thoughts for Article of the Day,we will be more than happy to publish them. And we always do! Mail it to Mahe