Hamilton Accies v Celtic FC Women – Predicted Team, interviews, match officials and kick-off time

Since arriving in Glasgow, Elena Sadiku has not had the best starts as Celtic FC Women’s manager with two losses in her first two games at the helm. Today however the Ghirls will look to get back to winning ways with a victory over bottom-of-the-table SWPL1 side Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Cup. A win for the Celts would secure their place in the quarter-finals of the Women’s Scottish Cup.

Elena Sadiku

Our defence of the cup started in January, when we entered the competition in the third round and recorded our first victory of 2024 with a 7-0 scoreline against Ayr United. The Ghirls put in a shift and looked ready to win the Scottish Cup for the third year in a row.

As we took on Ayr, Hamilton faced Kilmarnock in a dramatic tie that ended 3-2. Hamilton led 2-1 but Kilmarnock scored in the dying embers to send the game into extra time, and although it looked like it was heading to penalties, Josi Giard sent a header flying past the goalkeeper to secure her side’s place in the fourth round.

Although Hamilton would’ve been hoping for an easier opponent, they do have home advantage, with the clash taking place at New Douglas Park. The last time we played there, Celtic ended the day with a 5-0 victory and returned to Glasgow with three points in hand. Caitlin Hayes opened the scoring, with Amy Gallacher, Chloe Craig, Nour Addi and Celya Barclais securing us a dominant victory in the SWPL.

Celya Barclais

As for form and seasonal performance, it’s not looking good for the home side. Hamilton have only won two games this season and concede an average of four goals per game. They have failed to score in 56% of the games they have played this season, and only take six shots on average. In their last five games, they have two wins, one draw, and two losses. They have conceded 12 goals and scored eight.

Celtic have won 83% of their matches this season, scoring an average of three goals every game away from home. In 67% of their away games, they have managed to keep a clean sheet and take an average of 19 shots. In their last five, we have won two games, drawn one, and lost twice. Our two losses come in our most recent two fixtures. In this time, we have scored 19 and conceded five.

All stats are courtesy of FootyStats. Percentages and averages only cover games played in the Scottish Women’s Premier League and UEFA Women’s Champions League.

Elena Sadiku spoke to Celtic TV ahead of the match, saying: “The best things we can learn from are the games. We’re very excited for the three games that are ahead, but what we need to focus on as a team is the next game that is up. The only focus we have is against Hamilton.

“We need to come into this game and play more attacking. Create more chances and score more goals because that’s something that’s been missing in the last two games. That’s something that we need to keep working on and in the defence, we need to keep a clean sheet.”

Team News

There was no press conference held with the media this week, so no up-to-date news on who will be available and who won’t be. The  manager should face scrutiny from the media, regardless of the form of the team or the run of results.

Taking a guess, the squad that we saw last week should be good to play again this week. This would be my team prediction…

LAC is wishful thinking as she has only played about 20 minutes since returning from injury and is unlikely to feature in the starting 11 just yet.

This is the perfect game for Flint to find her feet, as coming into the squad against Glasgow City was always going to be a difficult task, especially when you aren’t getting great reception from your teammates.

Gallacher drops out for me, not because of performances, but because she has played for a majority of the season and deserves a rest. Another reason she drops out is because I’m not sure the manager knows how to use her yet. Gallacher is a prolific goalscorer yet was being asked to drop deep last time out. This clearly didn’t work as well as it was expected to, and although she did look decent in this role, I’d much rather see her in front of goal.

Amy Gallacher and Tiree Burchill

Burchill comes in as I think she’s an impressive player with a lot of potential. This is the perfect match to start players that maybe aren’t ready to play against the bigger teams like Glasgow City and theRangers, but who we want to develop to get to this point. She has six goals and one assist in her 13 appearances, so she has some credentials to back up the decision.

It was a tough decision for me, but Jenny Smith replaces Paula Partido as the Real Madrid loanee didn’t perform to a good standard last time out. Like Gallacher, she has played a lot of minutes this season, so could do with a rest anyway.

Sydney Cummings

Sydney Cummings replaces Hayes. The defender has played a lot of minutes this season but has been prone to mistakes in the last two games. Although she would certainly perform against a team like Hamilton, this is a good chance to get Cummings back on the pitch.

I also don’t think Murphy Agnew was as bad as people are saying, so she stays in the line-up for me. She just wasn’t getting the reception to make those regular runs in behind, but there’s certainly a player there that can put in a shift.

Player’s View

Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith spoke to Celtic club media ahead of the match, saying: “We’ve got a manager in. The schedules changed, the intensity in training has been great. We’re just looking to bounce back from the last couple of weeks that we’ve had.”

Speaking on taking lessons from the difficult few weeks the Celts have had, she said: “It’s important. We want to encourage each other, and we know that we didn’t do our best the last couple of weeks. The mistakes we’ve made, we know we need to bounce back from it.”

She also touched on how it’s been since Elena came in, saying: “The intensity has been good. There’s a buzz between the girls. It’s just been really good.”

The team are focused on winning the game, but they know what to expect from Hamilton. Smith said: “We know they’re very good defensively and I think they’ll look to exploit us, but I think we’ll do good.”

Match Officials

Jamie Wilkie will take the whistle this afternoon, with Christopher Irving and Lewis Brown assisting him. There’s no VAR.

Kick-off Time

The Scottish Cup fourth round match against Hamilton Accies kicks off at 16:00. The match will be played at New Douglas Park.

Where to Watch

This game will not be available to watch, and tickets cannot be purchased in advance. If you are going to the game, you can purchase a ticket at the gate with either cash or card.

Score Prediction

I would say that this is a must win game for the gaffer. If we lose, or struggle to beat Hamilton, then something is going seriously wrong. I’m not sure a high-scoring match is on the agenda today though, as I think we’ll still see some tactical experimentation that could cause some confusion within the squad.

A word of caution on our opponents, they went to play Dundee Utd away from home last weekend and really needed the three points in a match where the home side were strong favourites. Yet Hamilton won 4-1 and it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that they could easily have doubled their score. They will be on a high after that and will fancy shocking a Celtic side coming into this on the back of two bruising defeats.

With that being said, I’ll go for… Hamilton Accies 0 – 3 Celtic FC Women – Ever the optimist.

COYGIG – we need something to cheer us up this weekend after yesterday!

Jessica Elliott

About Author

I'm a student journalist and Celtic supporter. I'm delighted to have been recently appointed women's football writer for The Celtic Star, where the coverage of the Celtic FC Women's team has been incredible and unrivalled over the past three seasons.

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