Last Sunday’s game was another disappointment, but the goalless draw took us another point closer to the title. With four games to go we need just four points, but since we can only get three today we’ve lost the opportunity to win it at home.
Today should therefore be about two things. Getting three of the four points that we need to get Aberdeen involved in our potential clincher, and celebrating the life of one of the greatest men to ever pull on a Celtic jersey.
Before the match we’ll have a minute’s applause, during the match the players will wear black armbands with the number five on them and the fans will undoubtedly sing the name of Billy McNeill.
And hopefully somewhere in there we’ll get a good performance and a victory.
Kilmarnock have often been a difficult opponent for us since Steve Clarke took charge, although their last visit to Celtic Park was a resounding 5-1 thumping back in December. But that result came in between a 2-1 defeat at Rugby Park in September and a last minute victory there in February.
In case anyone needed reminding that it wasn’t just under Neil Lennon that we were capable of doing that this season! Scott Brown’s injury time winner quickly saw him showing a second yellow card for celebrating it, and that wouldn’t be the last time Broony would be on the wrong end of stupid SFA rules that lack common sense.
Mind you, he did get a not proven verdict on his trumped up charge of not acting in the best interests of Scottish football yesterday. Maybe it’s okay to celebrate where you happen to be standing when the full time whistle goes after all.
I’m sure we’d all rather see a comfortable and entertaining victory today, but any win will do as far as I’m concerned. We just have to get ourselves over the line, and while I’m sure many would like to go to Ibrox and win the title just as we did in 1967, I’d rather not get to the penultimate game of the season and still not have clinched it!
Kilmarnock still have a lot to play for themselves. Losing to Aberdeen last weekend was a huge blow to their European aspirations as fourth place in the league is not a guaranteed place for there next season. Whoever eventually finishes fourth will be hoping we win the Scottish Cup as if Hearts win it then they will take that European spot and only second and third place in the league will join them.
With four games to go, Kilmarnock are three points behind Aberdeen. So they’ll be hoping for the exact opposite of us – a Kilmarnock win today and an Aberdeen defeat tomorrow!
Aberdeen are at Ibrox for their next game, knowing that they’ve won in Glasgow three times already this season – once in the league and one in each of the two cup competitions. Apparently this is because they try harder against their opponents tomorrow than they do against anyone else.
I’m not sure what Steven Gerrard was doing on his week off when were playing Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi final, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t watch our game if he thinks Aberdeen didn’t lay a finger on us. Maybe he needs a visit from Ryan Christie?
It’s funny how these things work out though. A win today for Celtic and we know that if Aberdeen take anything from Ibrox tomorrow then we will be champions. It might actually be a fitting way to end this sad week, where the team that are synonymous with Billy McNeill are crowned champions once again thanks to a little helping hand from the team that Billy also managed for a season.
Regardless of what happens tomorrow, we need to focus on today. Win against Kilmarnock and we’ll give ourselves the chance to either have Aberdeen clinch it for us, or we go to Aberdeen next weekend with the chance to clinch it against them ourselves.
So let’s get that win today. Let’s get this done for Billy.
Krys (Twitter @krys1888)