I haven’t looked forward to a final this much in a long, long time.
The two form teams in the nation both away from home, two impactful managers who need to establish which is the master which the pupil, and potential implications for the title race to boot.
I happen to subscribe to the theory that a victory come Sunday would light a fresh fire in our rivals collective bellies and with two more derbies to come there would be a referee backed charge to gain real impetus in the title race and make it a title tussle.
Alternatively, I also subscribe to the theory that slapping them down this weekend would deliver a psychological blow that more or less kills any title dreams in their tracks by cruelly but kindly letting everyone at Ibrox know they are second best, not the top dogs.
Perhaps the above the norm anticipation is due to the fact the result simply can’t be called. The last meeting ended in a draw which would have felt like a defeat for the team in blue. They know for a fact they can hurt Celtic.
In Ange we have a manager who confessed he sends out his team to win Cup Finals, never to draw or neutralize the opponents, and the supposed master tactician could take advantage of this tendency. Our European adventures showed we can be hit on the break, and that’s how I would set up against us.
I expect Matt to get the call over Mooy because he’s more incisive and is in good goal scoring form so will be in the opposition final third a lot, Reo will support the attack hanging around the edge of the box, the wingers drift into the box to hopefully convert any chances falling their way, which leaves Calmac isolated in behind upon the transition, usually with one fullback ahead of the play.
If I know this, Beale knows this, and I’m pretty confident in stating he will make them move the ball fast, get it forward very quickly to the flair players (Sakala and Kent) who have been given permission to stay outfield instead of helping out in defense.
The simple response to the counter attack is making the most of your attack before the ball gets turned over, and unfortunately for the Ibrox mob that is what we tend to do. Through arriving in numbers with plenty of options in and around the box, teams get punished weekly and whilst being attacked at pace is our Achilles heel imo, attacking at pace is our greatest asset.
Daizen Maeda is the perfect example. The Duracell Bunny has improved and if forced to choose which player will stand out on the day he would be my automatic first choice, the Maeda match, you heard it here first. Their right back tends to bomb forward and when it goes to the left footed Sakala on the right wing they can double team the left back with one outside and the other coming inside.
Greg Taylor has his hands full, and will be a key component in deciding the outcome imo.
This tactic is very dangerous as it leaves Maeda without a direct opponent upon transition, ie when CCV sniffs the attack out.
Throw in Kyogos movement, the other wingers dash, plus Matt and Reo arriving and defenders often find themselves in Schitt’s Creek looking for their paddle.
So basically I see two sides that can be damaged when hit fast, and I’m thinking game on. PingPong football suits me down to a tee, they are the best games to watch as a football fan.
A cagey affair just doesn’t make sense when both gaffers are out for a statement victory on a do or die occasion.
The tactician needs to find a winning tactic in order not to be labeled the pupil, and the motivator needs his charges to be fearless in possession and convert their opportunities to show he is the master.
If Beale wins by taking the game to Celtic he’s a legend over there, walked in and dominated, one chance one cup, but that’s very, very risky.
Pugilists have an old saying, the boxer beats the fighter, and usually it’s true. The man with the plan usually beats the man with just a punch. But this isn’t boxing, it’s football, and there’s another old saying, goals change games. And as you all know we have outscored them since Beales arrival, hence the gap widening.
That’s what our team does, score goals. From the wide men, striker and midfielders, there’s an abundance of goal scorers throughout the team, and overwhelming the opposition is a regular feature of our play.
The best way to beat us is to attack, and the best way for us to win is to attack-attack-attack, so therefore I smell goals.
And when it comes down to the crunch, the Bhoys are deadlier.
The Cup comes home again come Sunday.
The Postecoglou procession rolls onwards.
Beale will beel.
Up The Hoops!
By Mahe

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February 25, 2023 5:40 am
February 25, 2023 5:40 am

POTY Competition

February 25, 2023 7:42 am

Good positive conclusion Mahe.
However, I have to take exception to the following:
“I expect Matt to get the call over Mooy because he’s more incisive and is in good goal scoring form so will be in the opposition final third a lot”

One goal in thirty odd games does not suggest he is in any sort of goal scoring form.
He is top of the charts for assists.

I’d say Mooy has shown much more effectiveness since December and is a starter for me.

Also we need him to take our inevitable penalty 😉


big packy
February 25, 2023 8:04 am

CFC if we get a penalty, ill run naked round parkheid 😎😎 not a pretty sight😎

February 25, 2023 8:14 am

b p

I’ll happily sponsor that, you’d make a fortune😂

big packy
February 25, 2023 8:16 am

CFC your on😎😎

big packy
February 25, 2023 8:20 am

CFC yes I think mooy just shades it for me as well, COYBIG.HH

February 25, 2023 8:22 am

b p

Pens or not, Ange will have us fully prepared and motivated for this.
As long as we remain focused on our football we will do this.
Still maintain we were not 100% at Ibrox.
We definitely will be 100% tomorrow.

big packy
February 25, 2023 8:27 am

CFC maybe just maybe, another 7-1 would that not be special,COYBIG.HH

February 25, 2023 8:35 am

In January We definitely made a wrong selection with JF and were unlucky with Greg.
JJ filling in was a disaster. Also, was AJ’s debut.
He hopefully has learnt from that experience.
He stood too far off Kent allowing the movement to score their first.

We are a tighter, more effective unit now, having had two months free scoring, mean in defence and unbeaten, of course.

7-1 – We can but dream fella.

I’d settle for a 3-0, game over by half time😀

big packy
February 25, 2023 8:46 am

CFC id just settle for any score as long as we beat them👍 catch u later, aff oot dugwalking.H.H

Jobo Baldie
February 25, 2023 8:54 am

Good morning, friends and happy Cup Final Eve.
Thanks for the read Mahe although I’m with CFCs comments at 7.42 in preferring Mooy over O’Riley. But lets be honest here, both of them will feature. As will Jota AND Abada AND Maeda. We have 16 guys to win us the cup and I expect all to contribute.
Cant wait.

Cosy Corner Bhoy
February 25, 2023 8:58 am

A ping pong game would CERTAINLY not suit me! At any game, especially against the Hun, I like the ball down the other team’s end all the time. Agree with CFC re O’Riley on your recollection of his goal! this season but think I would maybe go with him to start. Anyway, No Fear tomorrow and we will do it.

February 25, 2023 8:59 am


Barring unforeseen problems the 16 who play all or part are fairly predictable.
To my mind the likely 5 changes are Liel, Oh, Haksa, Matt and Tomoki/DT.

Like you, Cannae wait.

Jobo Baldie
February 25, 2023 9:03 am

CFC – or maybe Forrest. And of course we are hoping for to injuries to our back 5 but have decent cover there too.
Aff oot… 😉

February 25, 2023 9:03 am

And we have AR, Kobayashi and AB as defensive cover.

Not a bad pool of players on standby.

February 25, 2023 9:14 am

I think Mooy will get the vote. Usual back five; CalMac,Reo and Mooy in the middle; Kyogo,Abada and Maeda.

Jota,Oh!!! and Matt certainties from around an hour or so,the other two as dictated by injuries and game management.

No prediction on the score. I’ll maybe have a look at prices of that when I see the team.

February 25, 2023 9:30 am

Depending on how the game is going, there is the prospect of ET to factor in.
Get the game won in 90 obviously, but if it’s tight around 60/65 we might not see the changes we usually do.

Prestonpans bhoys
February 25, 2023 9:39 am

I honestly think the game will be over by half time. We have too much firepower and of course the recent comments from “that mob” will fuel the fire.

February 25, 2023 10:41 am

Form since the 2-2 draw.

5 games:
Home 3, Away 1, Neutral 1
5 wins. 5 clean sheets.

Goals for 15, against 0.
Penalties: for 2 against 0
Games in which opponent sent off 0

4 games:
Home 3, Away 1
4 wins. 2 clean sheets.

Goals for 16, against 2.
Penalties: for 1 against 1
Games in which opponent sent off 2

5 games:
Home 1, Away 3, Neutral 1
5 wins. 3 clean sheets.

Goals for 10, against 3.
Penalties: for 0 against 0
Games in which opponent sent off 1

4 games:
Home 2, Away 2
4 wins. 2 clean sheets.

*Goals for 11, against 2.
Penalties: for 2 against 1
Games in which opponent sent off 3

*Excluding the 2 “fake” goals in the Thistle game.

Total goals are very much in our favour (31-2 v 21-5). Apart from that they look to be closer to us than I imagined. Only 3 home games compared to our 6 and we’ve had 1 more penalty than them. Who’d have thunk it.

I’m less confident now than I was last week but still believe we are the better team. Any win will do now. Previously I was hoping for a repeat of the 7-1.

February 25, 2023 10:50 am


Appreciate the research.

Those are the main facts.
What they obscure are tight and unconvincing wins in at least a couple of those league games.
And a fortunate semi final they won in ET v 10 man Aberdeen.

Worry not.
They are a good way behind us as 31-2 versus 21- 5 indicates.
They have nothing like our firepower- spread throughout the team.

No room for doubt.

bada Bing 1
February 25, 2023 10:52 am

Tone the Barone.13.30 Lingfield

February 25, 2023 11:19 am

Mibbery is still their middle name, even if they’re no Rainjurz anymore.

Celtic’s record verse Sevco is a whole lot better than it was against Rainjurz thanks partly to the passage of time. The SFA ride out the VAR storm the penalties, and opponents reds rack up, the elephant is in the video room, but it’s backed into a corner and the law of aVARages takes over?

Income tax, but no EBT Sevco, are being assisted from every conceivable angle by the dirty tricks brigade. In a sense it’s not a new phenomenon, but you have to combine their separate existences, to conclude’ it’s always been the same’.

An overly physical unsportsmanlike midfield, and the second best budget ensures that they have better players than everyone, but us. Celtic’s eclectic global mix could win the league of nations, on Sunday another win over the forces of murk will do.

As ever CSC

February 25, 2023 11:19 am
But with the desire to prolong the old firm myth , and the need for the blue pound outweighing the desire for a level playing field, that’s what we’re stuck with until either the fans and clubs that make up the rest of the league do something about it.

February 25, 2023 11:34 am

Final reminder for the 15 yet to pick on Superbru

Call me Gerry
February 25, 2023 1:54 pm

Is the blog broke? 😁


Call me Gerry
February 25, 2023 2:24 pm

Re our starting XI on Sunday

I think the majority of us can (barring unknown injuries) see the same back 4 start in front of Joe.

Most would also agree that Reo will likely start alongside our captain. The 3rd spot is were we will have differing opinions.

Likewise, we should all agree that Kyogo will start. The 2 wide spots are up for grabs.

That’s 8 starting positions that the majority would agree on; leaving 3 up for debate.

Given that Ange will regularly sub 5 of the front 6 (barring injuries to the back line), it seems likely that we will see the the 3 starters, and the 5 subs coming on, from Mooy, O’Riley, Maeda, Jota, Abada, Forrest, Oh, Iwata, Turnbull.

I’m very content at that state of play.

My hope is that Forrest and Turnbull do not start. No offence to James or David, but they are down the pecking order in my book. Good squad players to have, especially when others are injured. But not starters when the others are available, imo.

My only concern is that I’m actually looking forward to kick off…when i normally have more apprehension.
I hope the players are confident, but not complacent. Get at them from the off…set the tempo…and we should be ok.


February 25, 2023 3:07 pm

I am in St Albert Alberta visiting my daughter and her family its -29 , i have to leave the house around halftime tomorrow for my grandsons hockey game. I hope the final is over by halftime , but i hate these games against them. The only time i relax is when i hear the final whistle. I like the way we play i just hope we have our shooting boots on. I spent last weekend at my other grandsons soccer tournament in Las Vegas it was 70 degrees. Quite a turnaround
Vegas was super busy but very expensive. No more cheap vacations in Vegas. The Celtic Convention is going to feel the pinch

16 roads
February 25, 2023 3:09 pm

Has anyone considered starting 4-4-2 with both O’Reily and Mooy in the starting midfield? 🤔

February 25, 2023 3:22 pm

If Broonie’s Fleetwood win today ( presently 1-0 up against struggling Morecambe ) they go to 12th, top half of the table, and 11 points clear of the drop zone.

February 25, 2023 3:28 pm

Things looking bleak for Dundee Utd. Already 2-0 down at relegation rivals Ross County.

February 25, 2023 3:34 pm

Call Me Gerry

I would have thought Haksabanovic , whilst unlikely to start, is likely to be a likely five. He was in fine form pre- World Cup but less good until his last two appearances when he was looking to be back in form. Ange does not seem to fancy him as a starter and I wonder if he’ll be around in a year’s time but to my eyes there’s not much between him , Jota and Maeda


16 roads
February 25, 2023 3:48 pm

Call me Gerry – There’s more chance of me starting tomorrow’s game than Forrest or Turnbull. 👍

February 25, 2023 4:07 pm

Afternoon all,

16 Roads posted yesterday that brought back memories.

I played Amateur football and a certain midfielder, called Davy, and Frodshambhoy will remember him, as he played many times in the same team, turned to Management.

It was half time in a game, and his team talk was ,

Blitzkreig !!!!

and nuke the Bastards !!!!!

A classic, and not quite Ange, but brilliant 😜😜

We won 👍👍👍

big packy
February 25, 2023 4:09 pm

OH hampden in the sun celtic 7 the rangers1, remember in 1967 going to the scottish cup final at hampden, roasting hot day got the blue train from coatbridge to mount florida station, as we were walking along, who was in front of us only ron yeats and Ian st john of liverpool ,wonder who they were supporting😎 anyway wullie wallace made sure the cup was coming home,,another true story.hh

February 25, 2023 4:19 pm

I see Matt getting selected because he’s more dangerous. Maeda and Abada on the wings.
The rest pick themselves.
Can’t wait tbh, just wish it was today.

Enjoy your day of Saturn no matter where you find yourself.

big packy
February 25, 2023 4:27 pm

MAHE, long time no speak, hope you are well ,if you think matt should be in, who am I to disagree, BTW jimthetim53 has still not been on, know you like him, very worrying,

February 25, 2023 4:33 pm

Hi BP. I truly hope our Jim is okay indeed. In the snow here, and much more of it to come they say. I’m loving it tbh. Regards to you and the missus Sir. Take it easy.
Hail Hail

big packy
February 25, 2023 4:35 pm

MAHE, cheers pal👍

February 25, 2023 4:54 pm
Weet weet weet
February 25, 2023 5:22 pm

Madrid derby coming up itv4

February 25, 2023 5:33 pm

Davy Blitzkreig

AKA Fiery?

Call me Gerry
February 25, 2023 5:46 pm

Jimbo @ 3:34

Totally forgot about Haksabanovic 🙈

Yes, he will definitely be in the thought process regarding who plays a part tomorrow 👍


February 25, 2023 5:49 pm


That’s the chappy 👍👍

He liked a libation along with you PB, MD and the whole team 👍👍

Good times 🍀🍀🍀

February 25, 2023 5:55 pm
February 25, 2023 6:04 pm


This comment from Beale tells us all we need to know.
“ I have to say since I have come back into the league I have been pleased with the officiating and maybe that is because there has been no real drama come my way yet.”

No shit Sherlock.

Call me Gerry
February 25, 2023 6:06 pm

16 Roads @ 3:09

Has anyone considered starting 4-4-2 with both O’Reily and Mooy in the starting midfield? 🤔
In a word…no.
I tend not to waste time considering very unlikely hypothetical scenarios 😁

Ps – has your account been hacked by an under 16 recently?

I ask because someone posted the following extraordinary statement, in your name…

“Furthermore, what I can say without doubt is that we would defeat Lpool, possibly RB Leipzig and Inter Milan as well.”🤪

…and later posted that there would be uproar among Celtic fans if we swapped Reo Hatate for Kevin De Bruyne…🤪

If these are indeed your own thoughts, I’m mighty glad to see Forrest & Turnbull are ahead of your good self, in the quest for game time with our first team 😁😁


February 25, 2023 6:32 pm

Good times 🍀🍀🍀

Some cracking weekends away.

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