Celtic vs. Partick Thistle
Tuesday 20th December
Kick off: 19:45
After winning their eleventh league game in a row against Dundee on Saturday, and continuing their domestic undefeated run, Celtic will be aiming to make it twelve in a row against Partick Thistle on Tuesday.
As reflected by the 4-1 score line, the last meeting between the sides earlier this month ended up being a rather one sided affair with Celtic dominating for the vast majority of the match. Brendan Rodgers would have undoubtedly been happy with that result the last time around (conceded goal aside) and will be hoping for a similar performance tomorrow.
Tuesday night marks Celtic’s six match of the month so far, and combined with the general lethargy that many players experience at this time of the season, fatigue is likely to be Brendan Rodger’s main concern going in to the match. Whilst there may be some temptation to rest players to combat this, it’s likely that we’ll still see a fairly strong line-up come kick off.
Stuart Armstrong was the Man of the Match when the two sides last met, scoring two goals in the process. Armstrong, who stood in as captain for the suspended Scott Brown against Dundee, has arguably been our most improved player under Brendan Rodgers, and another strong performance against Partick on Tuesday would definitely go a long way in solidifying his status as one of our best players.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Leigh Griffiths is another man currently experiencing a rich vein of form, having scored three goals in his last three appearances. During our visit to Fir Park Griffiths linked up well with Armstrong, assisting with both of the latter’s goals, and also managed to net one himself. Certainly, one would think that should he start on Tuesday, and it would be hard to justify a decision to the contrary, it’s not outwith the realm of possibly that he equals, if not improves on that performance.
Griffiths & Armstrong linked up well the last time the sides met, will that be the case again on Tuesday?
In regards to injuries and absentees, it looks like Tom Rogic will be joining Kieran Tierney and James Forrest in the stands. During Saturday’s game, Rogic found himself on the receiving end of a strong challenge by Dundee captain, and former Celtic player, Darren O’Dea. This tackle ultimately forced Rogic off the pitch, and is currently expected to miss Tuesday’s game. The Australian international has been a hugely influential player for Celtic this season, and his presence will certainly be missed.
In regards to their opponents, Partick Thistle, they’ll obviously be hoping that they can avoid another battering.
The Jags currently find themselves at the bottom of the table, although only one point separates them and in 9th place. With things at the bottom end of the table being as tight as they are, every point is going to be crucial for the teams with the misfortune of finding themselves there. Given that Celtic haven’t looked like they’re going to be dropping many points this season (touch wood), should someone actually take points from them, it could prove crucial to their Premier League survival. And given Celtic’s previously mentioned congested fixture list for this month, and the effects it has it on players, now is probably the best chance for teams to do so.
Liam Lindsay got the goal for the Jags the last time around, can he repeat that feat tomorrow?
Celtic have shown some vulnerability when it comes to defending set pieces, something that the Jags top goal scorer, Liam Lindsay, managed to exploit when the sides last met. Whilst it wouldn’t be unfair to say that having a centre back as your leading goal scorer is somewhat unusual, I’m sure Partick fans won’t care where the goals are coming from, as long as they are there.
Outwith their goalscoring centre back, other players to look out for include Kris Doolan, Chris Erskine and Sean Walsh. Doolan and Erskine have both scored three times for the Jags this season, only one less than Lindsay, and will surely be looking to add to that tally on Tuesday. Sean Walsh meanwhile was the man who won Partick a point against Hearts the other day with his goal early in the second half. However, football is a team sport at the end of the day, and all of the aforementioned players will need to be at their very best if Partick hope to have any chance of taking points from Celtic.