We sat down with our good friends from our Celtic FC SBNation site @TJDSBlog (check their site out at https://www.jerseydoesntshrink.com/ ) for a quick chat about the Europa League match up today. Check it out!
Q: How do you feel Celtic will fair in the group?
A: Some may call me arrogant, some may call me delusional, but I expect us to win every game we play most of the time, but when the team you follow has won nine titles on in a row and achieved a treble treble, that overfed mentality is going to kick in sometimes. After the game against Rangers, I’ve had a reality check though and realised we’ll be very lucky to finish second in this group.
Q: Despite the tough loss in the Old Firm, how do you expect Celtic to bounce back with over 2/3 of the season to play?
A: I actually do think we’ll come roaring back, and not be affected by the Rangers game that badly. We have far too much to lose so we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. I’d imagine Neil Lennon’s had a ‘sitdown’ with the top beaks at the club to really get it right this week, or there’ll be consequences.
Q: Any worries about any areas of weakness AC Milan may look to target among Celtic’s starting XI?
A: Unfortunately, there’s weaknesses everywhere in that squad under this current management team. Our defence is slow and lethargic, and can’t play a high line, not to mention they struggle against a team who press them intensely as well. It’s a good laugh. In midfield, there’s next to no creativity, and our centre midfield pairing of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor have no cohesion at all. If Milan have any sense, that’s where they’ll target.
Q: I wasn’t particularly impressed with Laxalt who we’d loaned over near the transfer deadline when he featured against Rangers, how do you see him being used under Lennon going forward or might he lose out on significant minutes?
A: It’s really hard to judge a player based on one game when the team had a collective shocker of a performance. Laxalt seems very lightweight, but he was one of the few I felt who you could at least say made an effort. He’s quick, and looks to put the ball into the box at least, which is a positive, but I feel we’ll have to change our system to get the best out of him, because the 3-5-2 at the moment doesn’t give him any protection in defence, or support going forward.
Q: Taking one out of your book, who are your match winners?
A; Our big game player is Edouard, but he’s out. Mohamed Elyounoussi, on his day, is a tremendous talent, but even he has been suffering this season in this draining formation we’re playing. If Ajeti starts though, he’s a player who seems to be able to get a goal out of nothing, as we’ve seen a few times this season already.
Q: Any exciting talents outside of match winners viewers should keep their eyes on?
A: Kris Ajer, who will probably celebrate a slidetackle on Ibrahimovic even if we’re losing in the dying minutes, that’ll be something you’ll pick up on. He was linked heavily with Milan in the summer, and may see this game as a recruitment advert for you in January, so I’d expect a performance off him. Callum McGregor, when he’s not doing the work of two midfielders, is also a joy to watch, and I hope tonight he shows what he is capable of.
Q: What do you think the score will be? Any hot takes to add in with that?
A: A few weeks ago I was bullishly saying we’d win ‘nae bother’ but as I said, reality has kicked in for me now, and I suspect it’ll be a 2-2 draw this evening. Hot takes? Yes. Greggs is going downhill. Just saying.
Best of luck to both teams, but of course Forza Milan!