Celtic has gone with the forward line many of us thought would have – should have – started on Saturday, as Griffiths and Ajeti both start.
The rest of the team is the same.
Whether it pays off tonight remains to be seen, but it seems incredibly risky to play a 3-5-2 against AC Milan, even at home. A much more compact system, a 4-2-3-1 where the fullbacks provide cover for the central defence, seemed a more likely option.
Stephen Welsh is playing again; I like the kid, but this is a second massive match to throw him into, and you have to hope that isn’t something he and the club comes to regret.
Still, it looks as if most of the team – bar the wide men – are playing in their natural positions.
If Frimpong and Laxalt are dropping back a little deeper tonight then this could actually be a better system than it looks on paper … we’ll find out soon.
What matters most tonight is whether we press them and ditch this rigid system which has us playing more football between our defensive players than amongst our forwards. The team has fine individual players; they must be allowed to express themselves.
A few of them owe us big performances, but no player more so than Olivier Ntcham, who is in the team ahead of Christie and needs to prove to us all that he’s gone something to offer. He has had a disappointing season so far and that’s if we’re being generous.
Ajeti and Griffiths is a forward line most of us have looked forward to seeing. I don’t expect either play to stay static; they both liked to move, they both like to bring other players into the game. They both know how to find the net; they are penalty box strikers.
In a short time the game will kick off. As I said in an earlier piece today, what’s required more than any result is a performance. A display where we shake off the lethargy and turn up to play. That would do us more good than three points in this tournament. If we get that kind of performance, we can get something from the match.
If we get something from the match it could prove to be a good launch-pad for the rest of the campaign.
A lot of ifs.
I’ll see you on the other side of it.