Celtic Must End Easter Road Hoodoo This Wednesday

Ange Postecoglou’s team have fans swooning over them after four victories in a row. Scoring eight goals in those fixtures and conceding just once, the Bhoys appear to be in a strong position to mount a title challenge. Early season performances gave supporters hope at times, but big questions loomed about the team’s defensive frailties. Now, three consecutive clean sheets have shown that the players are beginning to close out games, whilst continuing to play expansive football.

Victory at Motherwell closed the gap to four points at the top, then a routine win against St Johnstone piled pressure on the Hoops’ title rivals by reducing the deficit to a single point. Hearts and Dundee United remain in touching distance, whilst last season’s champions restored a four point advantage with a narrow success over St Mirren on Sunday.

Ange seems cool about his side’s progress, but to be in such a positive position is testament to his resolve. Indeed, he masterminded a fine rebuild prior to the first international break, then he lost half of his team and had to restart the process with a new set of players. Since regaining the services of McGregor and Kyogo, his team have an unblemished domestic record and have taken maximum points from two tough away games – Aberdeen and Motherwell, respectively.

Next on the menu is Hibernian at Easter Road this Wednesday. It is the third game in a trilogy of difficult away matches. With the Hoops breathing down the necks of three clubs in the hunt for league glory, Ange’s side can ill afford to drop points at this stage. It would certainly be quite a statement to go and take the points in the capital, before an easier run of fixtures awaits (on paper).

Knowing a win is essential and actually achieving it are two different things. Visiting Easter Road will not be easy – a quick look at Celtic’s record on the road against the Hibees demonstrates that. The Hoops have not won in Leith, in the league, since January 2014. Hibs did spend three years in the second tier but even allowing for that, Celtic have still gone to Easter Road on seven occasions in the SPFL and failed to win. Yet, bizarrely, the issue has not manifest itself in cup competitions as the Celts have won 5-2 and 2-0 at the ground in League and Scottish Cup ties in recent years.

Ange is unphased by such records. His team recently broke an eight month away day duck and haven’t looked back since. No doubt, he will back his players to do the same when it comes to correcting the record at Hibs. If they can do so, then Celtic will have to be taken seriously in the title race.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou arrives prior to the Europa League Group G match between Celtic FC and Ferencvarosi TC at Celtic Park on October 19, 2021.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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