- Easter Rising in Cup Derby Showdown
~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~
Non Stop: Daizen Maeda has been action man over the past few weeks
Hampden Park, Glasgow
Sunday, 17 April 2022
The Bhoys head to Hampden Park on Sunday, as they seek out a third victory over Sevco since the turn of the year and the second in a matter of a fortnight, aware that the prize on offer is a date with Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final next month.
Celtic have been in high flying form under the direction of manager Ange Postecoglou, and last weekend's scintillating performance which resulted in a 7-0 win over St Johnstone was the ideal tune up ahead of Sunday's Hampden Park showdown.
Successive victories in the League over the Sevconians have helped establish a 6 point lead in the title race, and with a spot in the Cup Final on offer, there is little need to go in search of additional motivation in this latest derby fixture.
Nothing will be taken for granted however, as the Australian will no doubt having given considerable thought as to how best to utilize the wide spaces of the Hampden pitch and with the benefit of a full week to prepare and ensure there is no complacency ahead of Sunday's semi-final showdown.
Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the winner when these sides met earlier this month
Standing in their way is the side that knocked the Hoops out of last season's tournament, ending Celtic's quest for a fifth consecutive Scottish Cup triumph, almost an exact year to the day ago.
Admittedly however, this is a very different Celtic team from that one, and very probably Callum McGregor will be the only survivor of the starting XI that day who is likely to start on Sunday.
The Govan side will be bouyed by their Europa League success on Thursday night, which will have helped to steady the ship for Giovanni von Bronkhorst, who has overseen his side lose 3 of their past 6 fixtures coming into Sunday's game.
One of those defeats was just two weeks ago, when goals from Tom Rogic and Cameron Carter-Vickers helped secure a 2-1 win for the Hoops at Ipox, which will help with the confidence which mist also be matched by determination, with the Celts potentially eyeing up another domestic treble.
But there remains a lot of hard work to do before that can become a reality.
In Safe Hands: Joe Hart in action during the 3-0 Glasgow derby win in February
Just the Facts of the Stats
- Celtic are undefeated in 33 games in domestic competition (League & Cups combined), since mid-September.
- Celtic have won all of their past 17 visits to Hampden Park across both the League Cup and Scottish Cup competitions, dating back from 2016/17 through to this season's League Cup Final.
- By contrast, Sunday's opponants have lost 7 of their past 8 visits to the national stadium, with the Bhoys having inflicted 4 of those defeats.
Hoops Hitman: Liel Abada slots home against St Johnstone - his 10th league goal
Ahead of this weekend's clash, Postecoglou stated that James Forrest is once again available, while confirming that David Turnbull and Kyogo Furuhashi are also both in contention for Sunday's match - although the Japanese striker is unlikely to be asked to last the full distance.
This does raise a question however, as Giorgos Giakoumakis - who had scored in each round of the Scottish Cup campaign prior to this - could be missing for this match. Although the Greek striker is expected back for next week's trip north to Ross County.
Meanwhile, Giovanni von Bronkhorst's side will continue to be without Alfredo Morelos and Felip Helander, as both have likely played their last for the season, while there remains a question over Borna Barisic, as he was forced off on Thursday, although subsequent reports claim it was only cramp and the Croatian defender be available for tomorrow.
~~~~ Head to Head ~~~~
P: 28 W: 16 D: 4 L: 8
Last 5 Meetings
W W L L L
~~~~ 2021/22 Form ~~~~
W W W W W ~ W W L L W