Next up - Celtic
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2012
After a week off, Motherwell resume the chase for Europe at home to Celtic on Sunday. We need to lift our game from recent performances if we are to stand a chance against the champions.
Celtic are by far the best team in the division but have had a wobble recently. They have thrown away the treble thanks to consecutive Hampden defeats but the media hysteria about these losses should be ignored. Celtic may have been well below their best in these games but they still made plenty of chances - some of their misses last week (Ki and Stokes step forward) were unbelievable and we can only hope they do not rediscover their scoring touch on Sunday.
Our last games against Celtic have delivered single goal defeats though our last performance at Parkhead was far from impressive. At Fir Park we did fare better, and went a goal up, but ultimately lost out late on. Last season we defeated them 2-0 on a potato field in February which will give us some slight cause for confidence.
The side will welcome back Hammell and Jennings after suspension and they will come in to replace the now banned pair of Lasley and Page. It would be a surprise if the usual eleven is not picked once more though the manager will have to decide on the formation. We have done well and struggled with both 4-4-2 and 4-3-3, with largely the same personnel, and there are positives and negatives with each approach now. Whatever we do we will need everyone to play to their best and hope we have a slice of luck into the bargain.
St Johnstone, Hearts, Kilmarnock, Hibs, St Mirren, Aberdeen, Dundee United have all taken points from the Old Firm this season which leaves us in the illustrious company of Inverness and Dunfermline who have not. Sadly, that is unlikely to change this week and the most we can hope for are some positives to take from a 2-1 defeat.
Remember the last time Celtic visited Fir Park?