Bear-trap or Clap-trap
In a matter of hours the topic the table clash shall kickoff, and it’s fair to say this one has the potential to be decisive.
A loss today leading to a twenty point gap essentially once goal difference is tallied would surely look to be insurmountable against this opponent.
Yes I’m well aware that we lost the corresponding fixture last year which gave us the infamous camera yell battle cry, and then went on to become champions.
A lot different this year though.
We do face a decent outfit with another year under the belt, who have found their mojo and will fancy exactly the same result as this time last year.
Knowing a break awaits should spur on tired legs and minds, and expecting another behind the scenes implosion to help deliver the title would be very wishful thinking.
Looking at the table and considering the fact we are still unsettled in January, the fact new arrivals don’t tend to get picked never mind help lift the teams level, and the fact we aren’t a good side, means this game becomes a six pointer with victory for the home team the planting of one hand firmly on our title.
The psychological blow of defeat would be huge when allied with what will probably be a furious torrent of anger towards all facets of Glasgow Celtic from the fans.
They will of course know this and aim to nip our title defence in the bud right here and now, safe in the knowledge victory here would probably be job done.
When one adds in the intense media pressure that would be heaped upon Lenny, the fact some always wanted to go, and the aid of the MIBs, it’s hard not to see defeat here being fatal.
After we first fell to them earlier I wrote I feared what could happen at this game, that Lennys tenure could be ended in spectacular fashion by a humping that would see songs birthed.
‘Sacrificed on the Altar of The Old Firm’ is a very deep fear for a man that has not only given so much to the club, but has inner demons to wrestle with.
However, certain changes have somewhat allayed my fears.
Since then we have made two big switches. The duet of Eddy and Griff was unleashed upon the league last January after the break, but this time we have deployed it early and head into this game with it bearing much fruit.
Plus we have a new middle in Soro and Turnbull, kicking ass and taking names they look to be our spine for year’s to come.
Domestically they are the toughest opponents to date for the Ibrox midfield, with relatively little knowledge of their style assembled yet which leaves opposition coaches guessing on how to best them.
Upfront they stroll it with Eddy alone as he drops deep and this helps get their full backs up the pitch as there’s nothing to cover. Our duo should occupy three men tomorrow hopefully with one tasked to drop deeper leaving them susceptible to the over the top pass.
It’s a must win game, so two up top should be a no brainer. Dropping Griff for Moi would see a backlash should anything but victory happen, it’s just too big a gamble and we need to use our main weapons while we can.
They must play.
In goals it’s probably Barkas will start after getting reinstated (harshly imo) but the message to him is clear now,,it’s up to you to step up because your replacement sits right here waiting. Perform or out then gone.
What better way for him to either repay the personal faith shown, or state loudly I am a good keeper than with a sparkling display at the league leaders?
However should he not perform that should be it, Hazard until the end of the season with the Greek shipped.
We also won’t have exposed our young one to a potential crushing defeat keeping his reputation intact, which may well be the end game here.
But, it’s a big big day for Barkas and he is ever going to step up to the plate today would be great timing.
Who’s in front of Barkas is an interesting question? I’m hoping we don’t bring Kris inside but keep him at right back where the other options give me the feart.
So for me Nir will come in alongside Shane and Diego will get the nod on the left. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Shane will be judged and scrutinized during this game more than any yet, the seeming success of his loan hinges on what type of display we get, but he will have known that.
To Broony or not to Broony is the biggest dilemma. I would like to see him tried out alongside our new midfielders but that leaves the team out of balance with either a left or right winger, or both but one up top. I fear we resort to the latter at Griffs expense, a huge potential mistake I believe.
Considering we just witnessed one of our best performances yet without him, being ruthless there’s simply no place in the starting lineup for the Captain today.
Ryan, Calmac, Soro, Turnbull just like during the week.
The manager wanted to hang on to reach this point, assured us all was under control, and takes his treble winners away for a game with very high stakes.
He wanted this, he’s got it.
It’s put up or shut time.
My team predictions have been awful recently but once again I stick my neck out,,
Prediction,, a neutral or just not a Tim would say home win and the bookies odds reflect that but I’ve seen many a game were we got written off before it only to pull a performance from.somewhere.
A nice relaxing break back to Dubai awaits, so leave it all out on the pitch should be the message. If the middle starts getting sword we have the option of bypassing them if we get our strikers to work hard. And those strikers really have a point to prove, plus competition in Klimala Ajeti who aren’t bad backups at all.
So a plucky draw then. 2 each.
Enjoy the game.
COME ON YOU BHOYS IN GREEN.