Celtic’s Wide-Bhoys and the 4-3-3 Formation that can Rattle the Rangers – So Fingers Crossed for Forrest

Greg Taylor made a welcome return to the Celtic side at the weekend in the 6-0 demolition of Livingston at Celtic Park as John Kennedy’s side produced hat was easily the most impressive performance of the season. The full back identified the key-men responsible for the performance and the scoreline and worries of about the availability of one for the next game against theRangers in the Scottish Cup, presumably to be played at some point this weekend, and the other whose longer term availability for Celtic will be cleared up towards the end of the season.

John Kennedy admitted after the game on Saturday that both the result and the performance were something that he had been expecting and with the opportunity to play James Forrest to the right of Odsonne Edouard and Moi Elyounoussi to the left in a 4-3-3 Celtic at last found the formation that works best for the team. Hopefully the interim manager has the same personnel available for this weekend as Celtic seek to take the next step to retaining the Scottish Cup for an unrivalled fifth consecutive season, and to lift the old trophy for a record breaking 41st time.

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Photo: Jeff Holmes

To do that Celtic will have to beat theRangers at Ibrox (there will be no replays in the Scottish Cup this season) and Greg Taylor is hoping that James Forrest’s latest injury concern – he went off in the second half with a tight hamstring – is not going to result in him missing the game this weekend at Ibrox.

“James is such an asset when he’s in full flow and fingers crossed his knock isn’t too bad and he’s good to go next week,” Taylor said, as reported by Scottish Sun. “He’s an important player for us. Everyone has seen what he’s done over a number of years for this club.

“We just hope it’s only a minor problem and he’s out there on the pitch. The Cup tie is a massive game. Every game’s big at Celtic, but it’s the one competition we have left to play for this season. For that reason, it’s paramount we do our best to win it. It’s a tough place to go, but it’s an opportunity we’re looking forward to,” the fit again Celtic left-back added.

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Photo: Jeff Holmes

“In the last couple of games we feel as though we have edged it and competed well, so we will just aim to put on another performance like that and go through. You’ve got to look forward to games like these.

“We’ve only got one opportunity because it’s a Cup tie and we have to get it right on the day. We’re confident going into every game. We are Celtic. We are a massive club and we expect to win games.

“It’s important to get a result for everyone connected with the club. Whether that’s for Kendo as the manager, or the players, or the fans, we want to get a result in a big game.”

Taylor also had nice things to say about Moi Elyounoussi who seems to have benefited from the change of shape in the Celtic side that James Forrest’s return to fitness has brought about. And of course we have seen 9 goals in two games, it should have been more too, especially last weekend against Falkirk, and two clean sheets as an added bonus.

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Photo: Jeff Holmes

“Moi is a talented boy,” Taylor noted. “You don’t move for the money he has in his career without being talented. You saw his quality in front of goal on Saturday.

“We all rate him inside the dressing room. We have seen the levels of performances he delivers in training every day and also in matches.

“You’d need to ask Moi and the board what’s going to happen in the future, but we always want to keep our players. If there’s an opportunity down the line for him to stay, I’m sure the boys would be happy with that.

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Photo: Jeff Holmes

“I think he enjoys it here. Everyone enjoys winning games and scoring. He’s very versatile and I think that’s important, both within games and also for different systems the manager goes with.

“It was a 4-3-3 against Livingston for large parts of it and we caused them a lot of problems. It was a good result and a good performance. The level of performance has been good in the past few weeks and it was nice to get a few goals.

“I think we were in a good place during the game and it was enjoyable to play in. Personally, it was important for me to get some minutes under my belt ahead of the next game. It’s all about competition for places and you need to have that at a club like Celtic.

“You just hope you’ve done enough to get the nod when the next match comes around. It will be down to the manager. He’ll make a decision on what he feels is right for that game.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. When Lennon played this way rangers punted the ball into the corner areas n caught us too far up the park. Need vigilance next time. HH