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Hoops Have Hard Hibs Hurdle

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic News' started by Taz, Dec 4, 2023.

By Taz on Dec 4, 2023 at 5:23 PM
  1. Taz Blind Justice Gold Member News Writer

    Sep 3, 2009
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    Hoops Have Hard Hibs Hurdle
    ~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~

    Matt O'Riley hit a 'Goal of the Season' contender in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone on Sunday
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Celtic Park, Glasgow
    Wednesday, 6 December 2023
    19.45 GMT

    The Hoops return home on Wednesday, looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premiership title defence, when they host the visit of 5th placed Hibernian.

    The Bhoys will want to start this game much better than in the lacklustre first half effort against St Johnstone on Sunday - a performance in which Rodgers admitted to never having been so furious about at half-time - before the Bhoys kicked it into gear, with the subs all making contributions to impact the game and ultimately earning a 3-1 win.

    This is shaping up as one of the most difficult and hotly anticipated fixtures at this crucial time of year, with both teams coming into this on the back of undefeated league runs.

    While Celtic are aiming for a 16th league game unbeaten - their longest such sequence to start a Premiership campaign since 2017/18 - the Hibees are also be high on confidence on the back of a 6 game undefeated run, including 3 consecutive victories.​

    Cameron Carter-Vickers in action against Hibs in the 0-0 draw back in October

    While Brendan Rodgers' overall personal record against Hibs is one that he would not want reminding of (P8 W3 D3 L2), but notably all 3 of those wins have come at home at Parkhead, and he will want to add to that this week.

    Indeed, despite Celtic being undefeated by the Hibees at Paradise since January 2010, the Capital visitors are certainly capable at holding their own in this head to head fixture.

    Since the Edinburgh club won promotion back to the Premiership in 2017, the Bhoys win percentage is below 50%, having won 10 of the past 22 league meetings between these sides (P22 W10 D9 L3).

    The Celtic faithful need only reflect back to the most recent encounters from earlier this year as a reminder of how much of a thorn in the side that Hibs can be, resulting in a 4-2 defeat in May and the underwhelming 0-0 in October.

    And if that were not already enough to underline the challenge that Nick Montgomery's side pose, they are undefeated in the league since these sides last met back in October, and come into this after on the back of 3 wins on the spin - most recently a 2-0 win over Aberdeen on Sunday - albeit, a result they were a little fortunate enough to walk away from with all 3 points in the bag.

    Skipper Callum McGregor sparked the Bhoys comeback with his equalizer at the weekend

    Stats & Facts
    • The Bhoys are 51 games undefeated and counting against all Scottish opposition at home since January 2021.
    • Celtic are hunting a 16th league match unbeaten, which will be the longest such streak to start a league season since 2017/18.
    • The last time Celtic went 3 games against the Hibees without a win was in the disasterous 2020/21 season.
    • The Bhoys are at their most dangerous from the 80th minute onward, scoring 13 - which is more than double the next best 10 min segment (min 10-20 with 5).
    • The Leith outfit are currently on a 6 league game unbeaten run - including 3 consecutive wins.
    James Forrest sealed the 3-1 win at the weekend striking home Iwata's counter-attack move

    Team News

    Wingers Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada have returned to the training pitch, but neither are expected to be available for at least another week or more.

    Meanwhile, Reo Hatate (hamstring) and Stephen Welsh (ankle) are not expected back until after the new year and there is a report that Maik Newrocki has had a setback, which would explain his absence from matchday squads in over a month.

    Given the disappointing and pedestrian first half efforts against St Johnstone at the weekend that the manager expressed such anger at, expect there to be some changes made to the starting XI for this game.

    As for the visitors, there could be a return for Lewis Miller, who was suspended for Sunday's clash with Aberdeen. However they will continue to be without long term absentees Chris Cadden, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Adam Le Fondre and Harry McKirdy.

    Referee: John Beaton

    Celtic have won both of the previous two Premiership games this season when the 41 y.o. Beaton has been the referee; the 3-0 win against Livingston in September and the 2-1 success v St Mirren, last month.

    Celtic Overall Record with Beaton
    M: 51 W: 39 D: 9 L: 3

    VAR: Gavin Duncan

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

    P: 319 W: 182 D: 82 L: 55

    Last 5 Meetings
    D L W W W

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

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

    W D W W W ~ W W W D D
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2023