Ange Postecoglou reckons Hearts have nothing to lose on Saturday and will play with a freedom that should see an open and end to end game of football. Many visiting sides in the Scottish Premiership have opted to park the bus at Celtic Park but Hearts having already secured third spot, qualified for Europe next season and have a Scottish Cup final to prepare for, will be looking to have a go at Celtic and put on a show for their own supporters.
It might even come down to which side has the best goalkeeper, just mentioning that for all the angry Hearts fans who read this site and whoo got in touch yesterday after this article on The Celtic Star.
The Celtic manager recognises the threat Hearts will pose this Saturday but also sees it as an opportunity for his own players to have the freedom to play their game and be at their best as they chase the three points that will spark a major Championship winning celebration among the Celtic support.
Speaking to Celtic TV today Ange is happy to give Hearts credit for their impressive season so far. “They’ve had a really good season,” the Celtic manager said. “They’re in the cup final and they’ll be in Europe next year. They’re a tough opponent.
“You get to this point of the year and they’re one of the teams you know will be dangerous because they’ve got nothing really to lose. They can go out there and play without fear, sure of their position.
“That’s always a danger from an opponent perspective because they’re not going to worry too much about the consequences if they aren’t successful. They’re going to have a crack at us,” Ange noted.
However that is something the the Celtic boss embraces rather than worries about. “It’s the kind of opponent you need, for us. We want to finish strong and play our best football. We’re going to have to be good on Saturday to do that.
“We’ve been really consistent for a long time,” Ange added.
Here’s Scotland’s Player of the Year facing Reo Hatate in January, angry Jambos….
In the four matches this season Hearts got off to a winning start on the opening game of the season with a 2-1 victory before Celtic got revenge with a 3-2 win in the League Cup followed by a 1-0 win in the league, with both those matches taking place at Paradise. The most recent game in January saw goals from Reo Hatate and Giorgos Giakoumakis getting Celtic over the line with a 2-1 win. Hearts missed a penalty and the chance to level in match in the last quarter of an hour.
And Celtic win on Saturday will be enough to get the party started but as the results this season have shown it’s going to be a tight affair and Celtic, as Ange has said, will need to be at our best to extent the lead to 9 points and the goal difference to 20+ or more ahead of theRangers playing their third last league game the next day.