Celtic v Hibernian: Etims Expert Analysis
Uralius looks ahead to what promises to be a cracker, in a mature and thoughtful way, suggesting he’ll never get a job with Sky Tv, the BBC or the Daily Record
So I’ve sent this to Ralph in the hope he posts it.
I’ve decided to take a partially informed and unapologetic loudmouth approach to my writing. Meaning most of my writing will be about my opinions based on very little evidence. If I do present evidence please don’t bother double checking it as it’s highly likely I made that evidence up too. Unless of course it’s from Celtic by numbers (I love that site) in which case it’s true!
So where are we right now?
We have just come off of an international break we all know what has been going on and most of it’s a disgrace, but that has been covered and I am only here to pick a starting 11 against Hibs. I’ve seen a couple of OPINIONS on websites like thisisfutbol.com, but honestly I doubt any of them are right. I also doubt any of those writing the multitude of expected 11s out there even watch Celtic week in and week out, so guess what? I don’t give a crap about their opinions, they’re wrong!
I’m hoping the 3 at the back or 5 at the back experiment is well and truly OVER! It didn’t work, we don’t have enough center backs and although it gives you a chance to play 1 more midfielder than 4 at the back does you are playing, at the very least 1 of those midfielders out of position. Recently it has been James Forrest who has “taken one for the team,” but in all honesty the entire team has suffered.
So what do we think Hibs are going to do?
They have lined up with a flat back 4 for all games this season except in the League Cup Quarter final against Aberdeen where they played a back 3. I think it’s highly likely they are going to line up with a flat back 4. From what I’ve seen (and it’s no much) it looks like they will be protected by a very experienced defensive midfielder in Mark Milligan and we can expect them to defend very well, but experience tells us that we are likely to be gifted at least 1 chance due to a defensive error… if you know what I mean.
Offensively they are likely to play very direct; 4 or 5 quick passes and you can find yourself carved open. The players from the left tend to cut-in more while the players on the right seem to prefer diagonal balls and balls over the top into the right and center channels although these players are mostly right footed they seem very good at bulging the net just inside the left-hand post a la James Forrest.
So a 4-1-4-1 sitting deep, keeping their shape and counter-attacking in numbers.
Something we have to consider is that Scott Brown has been out injured. In days gone by we would all be greetin that the team cannae function without him, that there is no drive without him and it certainly was true, but we saw a team carve open St. Johnstone time and time again without Broony, so there will be no rushing him back. We have a game against a team worth 248m pound coming up and that’s the game we need him for.
Why change the back 4 of Lustig, Boyata, Benkovic and Tierney? Oh yeah because that seems to be what we do these days. So against my better judgement I am predicting that Simunovic starts with Benkovic coming on as a substitute, oh gawd I really hope not….. Please, please, please start Benkovic, no disrespect to Simunovic, I just don’t think he’s ready for a start this weekend although I can’t wait to see him take the field against Dundee.
Oh and before any of you complain about Lustig being in my team know this, he is one of the best in our team at providing the providers (secondary assists and something) and there is evidence (guess where)!
So after a quick look at a couple of recent stories from Celtic by numbers (did I mention I love that site?) the rest of the team practically picks itself. With the top partnerships that produce all the chances coming from Forrest/Rogic, Ntcham/Sinclair, Forrest/McGregor, Ntcham/Tierney, Griffiths/McGregor and Ntcham/McGregor. We’ll have McGregor Right Central Midfield, Ntcham Left Central Midfield, Rogic in the hole, with Griff upfront and the 2 wide men exactly where you’d expect.
Oh no we won’t! We have a record breaking striker that MUST play! Oh really?
Listen he is a good player, but needs more time to settle, put him on the bench for this one and bring him on in a wide target man role when we are 2.5 goals up.
Due to Sinclair cutting in a lot (a lot? You mean all the time) our width has to be provided by Tierney in the final 3rd, Ntcham will have to be aware of this and cover if Hibs try and counter attack down our left, their right… you know with those diagonal balls etc.
With Lustig and McGregor playing behind Forrest who can either go for the byline or cut in, more awareness will be required with McGregor covering when Jamesie cuts in and Lustig covering the rest of the time. I believe our opening goal will likely come from overloading Mark Milligan in the middle with Griff, Sinclair and Rogic before farming the ball out only for it to come swiftly back into the middle while the defense is in disarray.
What do you think? Discuss below (not because there are a ton of adverts between this work of opinionated drivel and the comments section, but because some people on here actually care what you think). If you liked this article please subscribe to email notifications and type PISH! In the comments section.