Too Much Rotation Would Be A Mistake Tonight. Celtic Can’t Afford A Single Slip.

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There seems to be a lot of talk about rotation prior to this evening’s game. There are a lot of predictions about who might start in front of the guys who’ve been regularly playing.

I can see dropping Yang, because he’s not doing it right now, but I’d be reluctant to touch the defence and I’d be reluctant to go too far in midfield.

The thing is, we need points on the board. I can see us taking one or two players out of the team and putting in the so-called fringe players for them, but too much rotation rarely ends well and we cannot afford to slip right now. Our lead isn’t enough.

I would dearly love to see us put Callum on the bench a while, but for who? There’s nobody we can rely on to have his kind of consistency at the moment, not with Hatate out of the team. If he was fit then we could drop O’Riley back and Iwata is solid enough, but McGregor will be hard to drop or rotate as long as we continue signing experimental players in his key role.

I wrote earlier about Kyogo.

The simple truth is that he’s still a much better player that Oh and that means he’s got to start.

We need to find ways to bring him more into the game, but he’s got to play up front until we have other options there … the one real difference would be if Rodgers went with the two man strike force tonight; he might well and that would definitely be a change worth making, although I think it could be done with the minimum of rotation.

And that, I suppose, is where I come down on this. I’d rather we pursued an aggressive change of style than went with a wholescale transformation of the line-up.

Drop a couple of players who aren’t performing and go with two up front; that’s how I would look at it. A 4-4-2 gives us more potency up top. If we’re feeling radical, a switch to a 3-5-2 … there are so many variations of that we could put one together which, again, doesn’t change too many players.

This would be preferable to a team made up largely of those on the fringes.

I think that’s the last thing we need right now. The Ibrox club might not be brilliant, but they are capable of grinding out results and tonight against Hearts they are coming up against a manager who I genuinely don’t believe has much interest in throwing an advantage our way; they will almost certainly win that match and that means that we have to win ours.

The concern here, of course, is that in two of our three games where we’ve dropped points this season have come at home. That’s unusual for us, because at home we’re generally lethal.

We cannot take tonight for granted, and that’s what we’d be doing to play a team which is short of what we’d regard as full-strength.

Tweaks are fine, and even necessary.

A tactical change would force our opponents to rethink their own plan for the match. Too many changes throws us off ours, and that’s the last thing we need in a title race which is closer now than we’d like.

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