It is halftime in Paisley with Celtic behind 1-0 against St Mirren. Celtic have been very flat by this season’s standards. Mark O’Hara ghosted in from left back and both Tony Ralston and Stephen Welsh were caught under the ball as the goal went in.
1. Changes needed
Celtic have looked flat and falling behind will likely force the manager to make changes at the break. It looks like they’ll be required as the Scottish Champions have looked flat and predictable. Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate, Jota, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Sead Haksabanovic are all on the bench and the manager may look to bring them on as he looks to make Celtic’s possession turn into goals.
2. Cutting off your nose to spite your face
St Mirren decided to cut Celtic’s allocation and hand back a stand to their own supporters, which is entirely their right. However, a cursory glance around the stadium tells you that the home end is not a sell-out and that the second stand behind the goal could very well be occupied by paying away supporters. St Mirren, much like Killie, are cutting their nose off to spite their face.
The game, live on Sky, is being shown around the world and it’s hardly an advert when you have partially filled home stands.
St Mirren take the lead against Celtic. pic.twitter.com/avt1D8FGEa
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) September 18, 2022
3. Avoiding the European hangover
Ange made six changes from the starting XI and two first team regulars – Josip Juranovic and Cameron Carter-Vickers were not involved due to burnout. The USA Internationalist complained of soreness at training whilst Juranovic’s absence was explained as having played a number of games. Celtic will need to improve in the second half if they are any to record three points.
Saints now have something to defend and they will be throwing bodies, defending with their lives as they look to disrupt Celtic in the second half.
4. Stubborn Saints
Stephen Robinson’s team have set up to frustrate Celtic, getting everyone behind the ball and looking to stop the fluid attacks from Ange’s team. They have done well to limit Celtic’s chances and force them to shoot from range. Celtic need to find a way to break them down and the potential introduction of Giorgos Giakoumakis through the middle might do that, bullying the deep lying Saints.
5. Kit clash
Celtic are giving their third kit its first outing of the new season as the players wear the grey and black number. However, many supporters are complaining of the similarities between the home sides black and white stripes and black shorts between the light grey effort adorned by the Scottish Champions. You can’t help but feel that the black and green away top would’ve been a better shout than this.