We have a big night ahead of us, but we go into this game on a good run of form and feeling very confident. We are up against a good side who will give us a right good game, but we have enough about us to score and make their task almost impossible.
The team across the city has already played their game tonight, and although their fans will claim that it was a good and disciplined performance in heat and altitude and thus was more about conserving energy than winning do not believe a word of it.
They were awful. The match ended 0-0. In some ways, we’re out to restore Scottish credibility tonight because that performance was rank rotten.
Their opponents tonight would have struggled against any decent SPL team. They had nothing about them going forward at all, and yet they got in behind the Ibrox defence quite easily. Better players – and we have far better players – would destroyed them.
On the evidence of that, on the evidence of the past few weeks, we have nothing to fear at all at the weekend. As long as we approach the game right and play the way we’ve been playing for weeks, I fancy that we’ll own them. I saw very little reason to be afraid.
Ange is not afraid of anything. His team selection decisions tonight hint at how he’ll approach the Ibrox game. He’s gone with Turnbull and Rogic in the middle of the park along with McGregor … I thought he might be tempted to play Callum and Soro and hold them.
But that’s not what this man does. He wants to go out and win tonight, and it’s a risky strategy but it also speaks to his self-belief and the belief he’s infused this team with.
There are no real shocks in the starting eleven. Eddie drops to the bench for Christie, which means that our Japanese Bhoy is playing through the middle. Perfect. He terrorised them at Celtic Park, and I hope that this is what Ange is thinking about for the weekend too.
I am really optimistic going into this game and in particular because Ange has refused to compromise on his attacking ideas.
It’s a huge 90 minutes for it, but at the other side of it lies a big prize; not just a Europa League Group place which many thought (myself included) thought was a very big ask considering the mess he inherited, but a major dose of feel-good for the weekend.
See you all on the other side of it.
CELTIC: Hart; Taylor, Starfelt, Kyogo, Abada, Turnbull, Christie, Rogic, McGregor, Ralston, Welsh
Subs: Barkas, Bain, Bitton, Ajeti, Soro, Edouard, Bolingoli, Urhoghide, Shaw, Robertson, Montgomery