Stuttering Runs

With a rare free midweek coming up, Celtic now round off what has been a busy period of fixtures since returning from the winter break at Rugby Park.

But just like our midweek win over Hearts, the game away to Kilmarnock is a chance for revenge after a somewhat disappointing result last time we faced them.

Yes, the 1-1 draw in October was hardly the same disappointment as the 4-0 defeat, but it was still disappointing not to win on an historic day.

The draw that day saw Celtic match the 100 year old club record of 62 domestic games undefeated, but the focus was slightly taken away from that because it wasn’t a win. Leigh Griffiths first half goal was cancelled out on the hour mark by Jordan Jones.

Its actually one of many examples of how Celtic haven’t quite managed a level of consistency we were so used to last season. Having hammered Aberdeen 3-0 just a few days earlier, this draw once again meant we couldn’t manage to start a winning streak of any length. Indeed, three league wins in a row is as far as we’ve managed this season.

Well today is a chance to change that. The win over Hearts was our third league victory in a row following the recent wins over Partick Thistle and Hibernian. Win against Kilmarnock today and we’ll have four in a row for the first time this season.

But that will be easier said than done.

The challenge of a plastic pitch is just one tricky aspect of today’s game. Kilmarnock themselves are showing plenty of signs of being a decent challenge under Steve Clarke. Indeed, that draw in October was his second game in charge, and completed a Glasgow double after earning a draw at Ibrox the midweek before.

In the games they’ve played since then, they lost at home to Hibernian immediately after those two draws but the only other team to beat them since then have been Aberdeen. Their awful home form at the start of the season appears to have ended, given they’ve won the last three league games there as well as the Scottish Cup tie against Ross County last month. Given two of those wins were against the other Glasgow clubs, they’ll be looking to complete the set today.

We have already won at Rugby Park this season of course. Back in August, James Forrest and Callum McGregor scored at the end of each half to earn a hard fought 2-0 win. Patience was key that day in trying to break them down, and it may well be the same today.

But we go into this match feeling a bit better about the team. The Hearts victory was impressive as we blew them away in the first half. Many have suggested it was our best performance since the trip to Pittodrie where we blew Aberdeen away, and we’ll hope to carry that into today.

We’ll also look to see how our new signings are getting on. Charly Musonda got his debut on Tuesday, but he was barely off the plane up from London. Now that he’s had a few days training with his new teammates we might see a bit more from him. I wouldn’t expect to see Scott Bain in for Dorus de Vries, but maybe Jack Hendry will get his debut somewhere along the line.

Brendan Rodgers thanked the board for giving him the transfers he wanted. We’ll hopefully see soon what the manager can get out of them. Maybe even as soon as today.

Krys (Twitter @krys1888)

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Jim says:

    Nice article Krys. Can’t wait to see Charly in full flow.

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