No more international football for another month – Hurrah! After a fortnight of listening to and unfortunately watching Levein continue his attempt to wipe the fun of fitba from the Scottish psyche, we return to Celtic once more. Deep breath, ahhhhh, feels better.
Alas it’s not western Australia, look oot yir windae, but Scotland as we travel to the home of Barbour jackets, posh country estates and alas Stuart Cosgrove. I’ll take that one back regarding Cosgrove as he was a leading light in criticising the complicit mainstream media in their desperate attempts to allow New Rangers a safe passage back into the SPL. Cosgrove was magnificent as he tore Traynor a new arse, we hear it’s a mighty large one that would challenge Gary Caldwell’s cranium in terms of massively too big for your body. Cosgrove purveyed the truth to the wider Scottish football community used to having their brains filled with nonsense from the Scottish press and alas it has to be said BBC Scotland with the exception of Richard Gordon and Jim Spence.
The Perth Saints haven’t had the best start to the season and this has created tension in the air with a lot of their fans unhappy with the fare offered by manager Steve Lomas’s team. Maybe they were spoiled during the reign of previous manager McIness or perhaps he had them playing better football than Lomas. No matter, there are a lot of unhappy 4×4 drivers in Perthshire.
Did you know Perth is the 13th biggest city / town in Scotland and has almost half the population of East Kilbride?
The home sides biggest threat will probably come from the pace and power of Gregory Tade a summer acquisition from Inverness and ex-St Mirren forward (if he starts) Nigel Hasselbaink.
I’ve got absolutely no doubt Celtic manager Neil Lennon and his players will have one eye on next Wednesday’s Champions League opener with Benfica at Celtic Park. We can all talk about taking one game at a time but with no Rangers any more it’s clear the lure of arguably world football’s showpiece event has taken on even greater importance, especially as this is our first involvement in four years.
On the other side it’s been two weeks since those not on international duty last played and in skipper Scott Brown’s case even longer. With Samaras, Kayal, Ledley, Stokes and Matthews unavailable through injury a balance will have to be struck with tomorrow probably being the ideal time for Lenny to also introduce one or two of our new signings.
Ambrose and Lassad will probably have to make do with a place on the bench but it would be great to see Venezuelan striker Miku get his start. He’s been brought in primarily to aid our European football ambitions and with Sami out tomorrow’s as good a chance as any to give him a run out in preparation for Benfica.
I see us going with Forster in goal and backed up with a defensive line of Lustig, Wilson, Mulgrew and Izzy. Victor will start in the middle with Skoosh Broon making a return with Commons and Forrest playing either side with freedom to come inside. Hooper will start but I’d go with Miku to partner him and only use young Watt if we are in a strong position. He has plenty of time and chances on his side with a home game against Dundee next Saturday an ideal opportunity to continue his development.
Although we’ve a good record in recent times at McDiarmid Park it’s usually a scrappy game for the first hour before space appears and we get our foot on the ball. An early opening goal for Celtic would be ideal as the game would stretch and clearly suit us but it may another one of those matches when we have to win our battles before the three points is delivered.
ETims Prediction: Celtic by two goals