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Bhoys Battle Buddies in Cup

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by Taz, Feb 9, 2024.

By Taz on Feb 9, 2024 at 5:58 PM
  1. Taz Blind Justice Gold Member News Writer

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    Bhoys Battle Buddies in Cup
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~

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    Daizen Maeda scores against St Mirren in the 3-0 win back in January

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    SMiSA Stadium, Paisley
    Sunday, 11 February 2024
    14.00 GMT

    The Hoops' Scottish Cup defence is on the line this weekend, when they make the short trip to Paisley for this 5th Round match against St Mirren.

    Celtic fans let out a rather telling sigh of relief in midweek when the side somewhat fortunately emerged victorious from Easter Road for the first time in 5 attempts under Brendan Rodgers.

    But it was far from a convincing, with the result ultimately determined by two penalties from Adam Idah. Other than those 2 spotkicks however, the Bhoys could only muster the grand total of one solitary shot on target from open play, despite dominating almost 70% of possession.

    This is consistent with a worrying trend in Celtic's form this season, and especially since the Winter Break. Notably, they have scored just 4 goals in the last 3 league games - two of which came from the spot on Wednesday, while it required fortunate deflections to score a single goal against both Ross County and Aberdeen.

    For now though, the Premiership pressures can be put to the side, as the Cup holders look to continue their defence, after defeating Buckie Thistle in the previous round.

    The Hoops have won the last three times that they've come up against the Paisley side in the Scottish Cup, in 2013, 2017 and most recently last year, 2023.

    Add to this, Celtic have also defeated St Mirren twice this season already, back in November and most recently at the start of last month in Paisley, and will be looking for another similiar result when they return there on Sunday.

    [​IMG]
    Adam Idah scored twice from the spot in the 2-1 win against Hibs in midweek

    Stephen Robinson continues to impress as he approaches the 2 year anniversary later this month since taking over the Paisley club hotseat. Last season, he lead the club to a first top 6 finish in the top flight since the mid-1980's, and appear to be on track to repeat that again this season - if not go even better.

    The Buddies will be looking for their first Scottish Cup win against Celtic since 2009, and are coming into this confident following comfortable back to back league wins over Hibernian and Dundee - which is more than can be said for the recent form of Celtic in that same period.

    Additionally, the Buddies clearly have put the Winter Break to good use, by strengthened their squad as well as working on their defensive play - underlined by the fact that they have conceded just 1 goal in 4 games since then.

    St Mirren have earned the distinctive record of 8 wins from 8 games when they are able to get their noses in front at home across all competitions this season, making them one of the most formidable sides in Scotland on their own patch.

    So the pressure will be on Celtic to score first, otherwise what is shaping up as potentially a very tricky Cup tie, could be a whole lot more difficult.

    By the Numbers
    • The Hoops have won both of the two previous encounters between these teams this season.
    • The Bhoys are undefeated in their last 8 games (W7 D1) since mid-December.
    • No matter the competition, the Paisley club have won every game (6 PL 1 LC 1 SC) when they have scored first at home this season.
    • In fact, so dominant have St Mirren been on their own patch when they get their noses in front, they have only conceded 1 goal this season from that position - and that was in August.
    [​IMG]
    Oh Hyeon-gyu, who was the hero in November's 2-1 win v St Mirren, could return for this game
    Team News

    Celtic will be without defenders Alistair Johnston (suspected fracture) and Stephen Welsh (suspected hamstring), both of whom were forced off during the match against Hibernian in midweek. This is in addition to Reo Hatate (calf) who remains sidelined.

    The manager has revealed that Tomoki Iwata, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Greg Taylor are all back in training, but this game has come too soon for their return.

    However, Yang Hyun-jun and Oh Hyeon-gyu could be once again available, after South Korea were defeated in the Asian Cup Semi-Final, this week.​

    As for Stephen Robinson's side, they will be without Kwon Hyeok-kyu, with the midfielder having impressed many since arriving in Paisley but cannot feature against his parent club. This is in addition to James Bolton, who was shown a straight red card in the 2-0 win against Dundee in midweek.

    The Buddies will once again also be without Conor McMenamin, Ryan Strain and Mark O'Hara, all of whom have been sidelined through injury in recent weeks.

    Referee: David Dickinson

    The 44y.o. has previously taken charge of 10 Scottish Cup games since his debut in 2018/19. Celtic have won every previous game when Dickinson was the referee (all in the Premiership), including the 5-1 win against St Mirren, last season.

    Celtic Overall Record with this Referee
    M: 5 W: 5 D: 0 L: 0

    VAR: Alan Muir

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    [​IMG] ~~~~ Head to Head ~~~~ [​IMG]

    Overall
    P: 266 W: 184 D: 48 L: 34

    Last 5 Meetings
    W W D W W

    [​IMG] ~~~~ 2022/23 Form ~~~~ [​IMG]

    All Comps
    W D W W W ~ W W L W D