- Hoops & Hearts II
-Capital Cup Clash-
~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~
Wednesday: Jota and Bernabei do battle with Hearts' Nathaniel Atkinson during the 3-1 win
Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh
Saturday, 11 March 2023
After Wednesday's first encounter the League at Parkhead, all eyes continue to be on these two teams when they square off for a second time in 4 days - with the prize of a place in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final draw at stake.
Hearts put up a spirited performance and forced the Bhoys to have to fight back after going a goal down early for the second straight game. And just like against St Mirren last weekend, Celtic did what no other team in Scotland has managed to do - defeat a Jambos outfit who prior to Wednesday had not lost a single game after having scored first.
The ability to overcome setbacks and still emerge 3-1 winners deserves to be recognized as much as the sparkling football when it is in full flow. It's a shame that it's all too often overlooked, but it is the quality, the relentless attitude and belief in Ange's 'we never stop' philosophy that has seen the Bhoys overcome everything they've come up against here in Scotland.
'Happy 100 Boss!' Ange thanks Kyogo after the talismanic striker chalked up a goal and assist
As for this Cup run, Celtic have reached this point after 5-0 win over Morton, and then a 5-1 victory against St Mirren, however Saturday will be the first time they'll be having to do so away from Glasgow's east end in this tournament.
Ironically, the Jambos will be on home soil for the first time in this Scottish Cup run, following rare successes away from Tynecastle, first against city rivals Hibernian, followed by a visit to Hamilton - these being their only 'Away' wins of 2023 thus far.
This will unlikely be a straight forward contest, considering the host's impressive form at Tynecastle, being roared on by a parochial home support, coupled with the return of some key personnel and with the stakes being so high, expect this to be anything but an easy ride.
By the Numbers
- Ange Postecoglou notched up his 74th win in 100 competitive games as Celtic manager on Wednesday - a record second only to Martin O'Neill's first 100 games.
- The Hoops are currently on a 12 game winning streak across all competitions.
- Celtic have already scored 112 goals in 34 games against Scottish opposition this season - including 22 goals across 6 games in the two Cup competitions.
- On the other hand, the Bhoys have only been able to keep a single clean sheet in the past 6 matches.
- Since Celtic's 4-3 win at Tynecastle in October, Hearts have lost just once at home across all competitions - including European.
Maeda went off shortly after scoring on Wednesday and will likely now miss this weekend's game
The main injury worry coming out of Wednesday for Celtic is Daizen Maeda, who was forced off shortly after bravely netting the equalizer which resulted in a collision with Heart's goalkeeper, Zander Clarke. Although the extent has not yet been made public, there are reports of the speedster spotted using the aid of crutches.
Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou also mentioned that James Forrest is sidelined for at least a month with a strain which has already kept him out of the team in recent weeks, along with James McCarthy (hamstring).
As for the hosts, they will be without Yutaro Oda, who hobbled off on Wednesday, in addition to Craig Gordon, Gary Mackay-Steven, Craig Halkett, Liam Boyce, Beni Baningime, Peter Haring and Stephen Humphrys, who are all unavailable.
However, Robbie Neilsen is expected to be able to call upon the services of top scorer Lawrence Shankland, winger Robert Snodgrass and defender Alex Cochrane, all of whom missed the first game between these sides, while forward Josh Ginnelly is rated as being 'touch and go' after being taken off 'as a precaution' through the week.
Referee: Steven McLean
McLean officiated his first Scottish Cup match in November 2008 and has held the whistle in 38 such games since, with the highlight being the 2016 Final. Saturday will be the 2nd time this season that he has been appointed to a Scottish Cup match involving Celtic, following the 5-1 win over St Mirren in February.
Celtic's Overall Record
M: 36 W: 29 D: 3 L: 4
VAR: Colin Steven
~~~~ Head to Head ~~~~
P: 264 W: 183 D: 47 L: 34
Last 5 Meetings
W W W W W
~~~~ 2022/23 Form ~~~~
W W W W W ~ L W L W W