A Celtic side largely made up of squad players did more than enough today to ensure a convincing 3-1 win at Inverness today, the question is, will any of the players have forced their way into the manager’s thinking ahead of Tuesday’s game against Juventus?
The team had nine changes from that which started against Raith, with Fraser Forster making his long-awaited comeback, debuts for Rami Gershon and Tomas Rogic, the first start in a long time for Tony Stokes, and starts for the likes of McCourt, Miku, Fraser, Rogne and McGeouch. Interestingly, Kris Commons – who would be in many people’s starting line-up for the Juve game – started the game.
The game didn’t have the best possible start for Celtic, as after only nine minutes Caley took the lead. Fraser Forster only parried out a cross and Nick Ross fired home. Celtic’s response was swift however, and ten minutes later Kris Commons fired home a superb equaliser. Good work from Rogne set the ball up for Commons and he buried the ball into the cup corner. Rogne fired over shortly after and Paddy McCourt also came close, but the scores were level at half-time.
Kris Commons was replaced by Joe Chalmers at half-time, and three minutes into the second-half Celtic took the lead, a Dylan McGeouch cross was met with a bullet header from debut boy Rami Gershon. Gershon later went off with a knee problem to be replaced by Adam Matthews. The second half continued with both sides probing for the vital next goal, and Celtic killed the game off with a fine break away goal, as good work from substitute Tony Watt and Stokes set Miku up to slot home. The same player hit the post not long after as the game ended with Celtic on top.
Neil Lennon will be delighted with Celtic’s performance today, as a reserve team recorded a convincing victory at a venue where Celtic have often struggled. The new boys Gershon and Rogic done well, with Rogic in particular showing some nice touches. Beram Kayal also played well but the fact he played the whole 90 minutes would signal that he will be on the bench on Tuesday. Marcus Fraser and Rogne did well, but it’s unlikely they will be involved against Juve. Miku and Stokes both played well in spells, and you’d have to think at least one of them will be on the bench on Tuesday. The interesting one for me is Kris Commons, the fact he was taken off at half-time – after scoring a great goal – makes me think that he could start on Tuesday. All in all, a good day for Celtic as the Juve game looms large.