Despite another setback in midweek where once again Celtic couldn’t find their way to goal, worryingly the fifth time in the last league eleven games that’s happened now, we’ve still managed to move four points closer to the title.
The goalless draw at home to Dundee saw us needing another nine points to clinch the title, but they became just six points yesterday when Aberdeen lost to Hearts. With both second and third place now on 62 points with five games remaining, a total of 78 points will be insurmountable.
Indeed, should Celtic pick up three points today, then we’ll move onto 75 points, a total that Hibernian in fourth place couldn’t achieve. That would see Celtic with the chance to officially clinch the title in two weeks time in our first post-split fixture.
Whatever that may be.
As the SPFL actively don’t want an interesting match for us to do that, coupled with the usual ridiculous quirk that the tv companies only have two games at Celtic Park left to show, what will happen next will be relatively easy to work out.
Our last game will be a home match, one where we will get the Premiership trophy and that will be shown live. Add to that the final derby of the season that should also be at Celtic Park and you can imagine that will probably now be the third match of the five – despite being pencilled in as the first.
That’s the thing about pencils, you can erase them. Spoilsports.
If that’s the case, our first post-split fixture will likely be an away game against either Hearts or Hibernian. Neither of which will be particularly easy fixtures! We didn’t win at either Tynecastle or Easter Road on our last visits there!
However, all of that still depends on us winning today’s match at New Douglas Park. Hamilton are one of four teams still in a relegation dogfight, so you can imagine they might well set up the same way as Dundee with one aim – stifle Celtic.
Every point is valuable to that end of the table, and with Hamilton level on points with Dundee, four clear of Ross County and five clear of Partick Thistle, they have a bit of breathing room but not much.
They also have two games in hand including today, so they might go in their favour. Mind you, when one is against us and one is against the in form Kilmarnock, maybe it’s not so great after all. All the more important to pick up anything they can get then.
Our last visit to Hamilton was relatively straight forward. Stuart Armstrong opened the scoring before Scott Sinclair scored twice. Odsonne Edouard scored on his debut, with the only real disappointment being the awful defending for the Gogic consolation goal near the end.
In our other match against them this season at Celtic Park, Olivier Ntcham gave Celtic the lead before Redmond equalised. Fortunately James Forrest and Scott Sinclair were on hand to ensure Celtic got the three points.
If our problem lately has been scoring goals, it’s good to know that today we face a team where we’ve scored seven in two games against them!
The lineup today should be interesting too. In midweek, Brendan Rodgers clearly wasn’t happy with how our attack was working and made three substitutions all at the same time. That seemed to have the opposite effect though as it disrupted the flow of the team. Hopefully then whatever the starting lineup today is, it’s one that can find the net early and not have us worrying about going a sixth game in twelve without scoring.
Six points from the title isn’t much, but with a Scottish Cup semi final to come next week before five games against far tougher opponents than on our last few league matches, we could really do with a confident boosting score line today.
After all, next week’s opponents got one against Dundee yesterday. It might not mean much, they had similar before the last league game after all, but every little helps and I’d rather not give them anything ahead of such a crucial match.
Krys (Twitter @krys1888)