After the huge reality check and disappointment at being knocked out of the Sky Sports Cup last time out by theRangers, Celtic FC Women are looking to get back on track in the SWPL1 against third-placed Glasgow City. Elena Sadiku will be hoping to get her managerial reign properly underway with three points against the reigning Women’s Scottish Champions.
The last time these two sides met, Celtic knocked Glasgow City out of the Sky Sports Cup in the quarter-finals. An early header from Natalie Ross kicked off a dominant performance for the Celts, with Amy Gallacher and Kit Loferski removing any doubt of victory. The American’s goal was the icing on the cake and it was an absolute stunner, surely a goal of the season contender?
For the longest time, City were tough to compete with. That changed at the end of last season, when Celtic came within touching distance of the league title until City snatched a late winner at Ibrox when the home side stopped defending to hand the title to City, much to the dismay of Celtic fans. We’ll be hoping that Celtic FC Women can continue our good record against Glasgow City this afternoon, and the Ghirls will surely fancy their chances.
However it will be tough, and recent form does go in City’s favour, with Leanne Ross’ side not having lost since early November when they suffered back-to-back defeats against Celtic and theRangers. Celtic have been dominant in their games but have one loss (at home to theRangers) and one draw (away to Hearts) in their last five.
Elena Sadiku didn’t speak to the media this week but instead spoke to Celtic TV ahead of her first league game in charge of the Hoops. The new Celtic FC Women manager said: “After the last game, I think everybody in the team wants to bounce back and perform better and try to do everything we can to get the win.”
Other than the loan signing of Tash Flint from Liverpool, we have nothing else to report on whether Elena is planning on brining in some new signings in this transfer window. A pacy central defender would be a great addition to the squad at this stage, as the lack if pace in the Celtic defence has been noted and exploited by theRangers this season. Three times Celtic have been ahead only to be pushed back deeper and deeper then losing all three games.
The big story here is the return of Tash Flint. The Goal Machine made her return to Celtic, on loan from Liverpool, on Wednesday and she will surely be on the team sheet this afternoon. She’ll be hoping to find her feet in Scotland again after an uneventful time at the Reds.
No news on any players set to return from injury, so it’s likely that Kit Loferski will still be missing from the squad, despite former manager Fran Alonso’s timescale prediction that she’d be back at the start of this month.
Experienced Celt Natalie Ross spoke to Celtic TV ahead of today’s clash against Glasgow City.
She said: “Training has been good. I’ve been really impressed by Elena’s sessions, so have some of the other girls. The intensity is raised dramatically, I think it was something that we needed. And you can tell that in our play, we’re knocking the ball around really well. There’s a real buzz around the place and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s game.
“It was a hard task coming [for Elena]coming in ahead of theRangers game which was never going to be easy, and we have another hard game this weekend. But we needed the change. Everyone’s bought into her ideas which is great. Every training session I’m learning something new, and I’m an older player, so it keeps you on your toes, it’s exciting, it’s something we needed as a group, and you can see that on the training pitch.
“It was a hard one to take [last Friday]. We want to win every competition we’re in. We lost the game, but we still have that excitement and buzz with the new manager coming in. There’s still so much to play for this season, it’s a massive game this Sunday and we’re really looking forward to it. We feel we’re in a much better position than we were last Friday.
“We have changed formation; you could see that last Friday. Different players are having to learn that formation. What [Elena] expects from each player is slightly different to what Fran expected so it’s going to take a bit of time [to get used to the new system].”
Ryan Kennedy will be the referee for this tie, with Scott Bunting and Jordan Brownlee assisting him. Euan Birch has been named as the Fourth Official. There will be no VAR this afternoon.
This league clash against Glasgow City kicks off at 2:10pm. The match will be played at Petershill Park.
Where to Watch
You can watch the game live on BBC Alba. If you’re planning on attending in-person, you can buy your tickets HERE.
It’s a must win game for both sides if they want to maintain a realistic interest in the league, particularly for the home side. However Celtic FC Women can’t afford to fall further behind theRangers who are currently three points ahead and they play Aberdeen away this afternoon. A draw today does neither side much good and would suit the SWPL1 leaders who incidentally will play Partick Thistle in the Sky Sports Cup Final.
Considering Glasgow City have been the victors in numerous high-scoring matches recently, I do think they could get one past us. I do, however, think that Elena will win her first game in Scotland as Celtic manager so I’ll go for this predicted scoreline…Glasgow City 1 – 3 Celtic FC Women
💥 Back to league business with a bang! 💥
— Celtic FC Women (@CelticFCWomen) January 28, 2024