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Celts Can Clinch at Killie

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by Taz, May 13, 2024.

By Taz on May 13, 2024 at 8:32 PM
  1. Taz Blind Justice Gold Member News Writer

    Sep 3, 2009
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    Celts Can Clinch at Killie
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~

    Daizen Maeda has 2 goals & 4 assists in his 7 appearances against Kilmarnock

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    Rugby Park, Kilmarnock
    Wednesday, 15 May 2024
    19.30 BST

    The Hoops have the chance to clinch the League title on Wednesday evening, but will face a tough hurdle to do so, when they take on 4th placed Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

    Celtic could potentially already be Champions by the time Wednesday rolls around, if Dundee are able to prevent Sevco from taking maximum points the previous evening.

    Irrespective of that result, the Hoops require just a single point from their two remaining league fixtures in order to secure a third successive Premiership crown.

    But they will have to earn it, as Killie have proven to be a real thorn in the side this season. They have already defeated the Bhoys twice at Rugby Park (including knocking Celtic out of the League Cup), in addition to earning a deserved draw from their last visit to Parkhead in February.

    So, it is fair to say that noone should expect this simply to be a straight forward result, and after having done all the hard work that has been put in to reaching this point with the title so close to being in the grasp, there can no room for complacency on Wednesday.

    Greg Taylor in action against Kilmarnock's Liam Polworth earlier this season

    Even setting aside the record against Celtic, Killie boss Derek McInnes deserves all of the various plaudits and recognition he has earned recently, especially when taking into account and charting the host side's progression over the past couple of seasons.

    Admittedly, Killie don't have as much riding on this match after their 1-0 away win at St Mirren locked up 4th place for them - and with it a spot in next season's Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round.

    Regardless, it will still be a tricky evening, as the hosts' boast one of the best home records in the entire division, having lost just once at home since the beginning of December.

    Make no mistake, Celtic will be made to work for anything and everything on Wednesday, but with the stakes such as they are and a full squad available for Rodgers to select from, the Bhoys should at least get what they need to secure the Premiership crown, ahead of Saturday's homecoming match at Paradise, to be hailed once again as Champions.

    Stats & Facts
    • Celtic are currently undefeated in their past 9 matches (7 League, 2 Sc Cup).
    • Brendan Rodgers has a very spotty record against Kilmarnock (P14 W7 D3 L4).
    • Killie have kept 4 clean sheets in their past 5 league games. By contrast, the Bhoys have kept just 4 clean sheets in total since the winter break.
    • They Ayrshire side have lost just once at Rugby Park since the start of December.
    Matt O'Riley celebrates scoring in the crucial 2-1 win over Sevco at the weekend

    Team News

    Brendan Rodgers has had the benefit of a full squad to select from over the past couple of weeks, and this appears to be once again the case for this game, with a minor question mark over Alistair Johnston (ankle), after the Canadian International fullback was withdrawn at the weekend.

    As for Killie, they will once again be without Brad Lyons (hamstring), however Derek McInnes could have Greg Stewart and James Balagizi are both back in contention, after having been missing through hernia and knee troubles respectively, while defender Joe Wright is also set to return after sitting out against St Mirren through suspension.

    Referee: Don Robertson

    The 37 year old has referee'd 173 Premiership games since his debut in August 2014. This will be the 7th time he has officiated Celtic this season (the most recent being the Scottish Cup Semi-Final v Aberdeen).

    The Bhoys have won all 3 previous enounters when Robertson has had the whistle for a match between these sides - the most recent being a 2-0 win in December 2020.

    Celtic's Overall Record with Robertson
    M:38 W:33 D:3 L:2

    VAR: Greg Aitken


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

    P: 259 W: 170 D: 57 L: 32

    Last 5 Meetings
    D L W L W

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

    W W W D(w) W ~ W L D W W

    W W W W D ~ W L D W W
    Last edited: May 14, 2024
    tarboltontim likes this.