What Surprises Can The Celtic Boss Spring On His Rival Tomorrow?

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Amidst all the chit-chat about what Ibrox might do tomorrow, it would be easy for some people to forget, or ignore, the simple truth of the matter; the game will be won or lost depending on what we do.

Celtic are the star attraction here, with a win virtually wrapping up this title.

There is little doubt that we have the better players … but who will the manager pick?

There is ample scope for springing some surprises on the Ibrox manager.

We have options in every area of the pitch, and as close to a full-strength squad as we have had at our disposal all season. This is why Ibrox’s tiresome whinging about injuries and suspensions and the like is so pitiful … we have come through an injury crisis which was expected to derail the campaign completely, and yet didn’t.

The midfield and the forward line are where the tough choices are.

Up front, we have three slots to fill and the following players competing for them; Kyogo, Maeda, Giakoumakis, Forrest, Abada and Jota. That is formidable.

In the central midfield we can choose from; McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Turnbull, Bitton, Rogic, Ideguchi and McCarthy.

The latter isn’t expected to feature and Ideguchi is still trying to find his feet, but that still leaves five players for three slots and better options than we’ve had in years, and this will only get stronger come next season when we will probably add to the team.

So what should the combinations be for tomorrow?

It is hard to argue that Callum McGregor will start. Certainty. But who plays alongside him? At Parkhead earlier in the season it was the combination of Hatate and O’Riley which tore the Ibrox club to absolute pieces, but there might be an argument for trading one of them for Nir Bitton is he is fully fit, so as to add some steel to the team.

But the craft of O’Riley and Hatate is part of what opened the Ibrox club up that night, that and the right hand side partnership between Juranovic and Abada … and Abada has to start, for me, for that very reason.

I would probably go with the same central midfield three as won that night, because I thought the whole tempo of our performance at Hampden went up the second O’Riley was on the pitch. I rate him as one of the best of our signings.

The forward position is harder to predict, and even harder to choose from because the options here are all different.

It would be unfair to leave out Maeda although he’s been magnificent, but I think having Kyogo and Giakoumakis in the starting eleven is too good an idea to resist and I think that the manager will go with them alongside Abada.

Being able to bring Jota and Maeda off the bench, alongside Rogic and Turnbull and Ralston … that’s what the manager has accomplished in such a short space of time.

This is why we’re on the brink of this title and why I think we’ll win tomorrow and with room to spare.

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  • Starman says:

    Give us 5 zip & send the 700 Knuckodraggaz oan their way!!

  • Johnny Green says:

    I would not go with your 3 James as that would mean Kyogo would be playing wide. We did that before in the first game against them and Kyogo was totally ineffective in that position. So my 3 would be Abada, Kyogo and Jota. The midfield 3 for me would be McGregor, O’Reilly and Turnbull. Definitely not Bitton who is more likely to get sent off than contribute to the team effort.

    • James Forrest says:

      All I’ll say buddy is that Edouard played that day and not Giakoumakis.

      That might be the difference. I’ll tell you what tho, it’s hard to leave Maeda out of the team …

  • Seppington says:

    Agree on O’Riley, he has been a revelation. Stunned we got him before the EPL vultures could.
    I don’t care what the score is or what the performance is like as long as we end their miniscule hopes of stopping us from retaking that which is rightfully ours…

  • Jim says:

    Forget about the previous Parkhead game, that was GVB’s first game against us and he got it completely wrong. They reverted to type in the next two games and that is what we will face tomorrow. We will need to win a battle if we want to play our football. Therefore no Hatate this time. He just isn’t physically up to it.

    Has to be McGregor, O’Riley and Turnbull. The three midfield boys need to take responsibility for taking the ball from the centre backs and playing through their press. We were dispossessed time after time at Hampden because of clueless passing between Starfelt, CCV and Hart

    Up front I’d start with Jota, Giakoumakis and Maeda, although you suspect Ange will start with Kyogo. If you play Kyogo you can’t put him out wide, complete waste of time.

    We should sit deeper and be more compact when they have the ball and Ange should tell Maeda to stop chasing every lost cause. If we use Maeda more tactically he has the pace to hurt them on the break.

  • jrm63 says:

    The Greek should play. Ralston knows how to find him at the near post as well. He has played twice and we have beat them twice

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