In a league as tight as an Elvis Presley jumpsuit in Vegas, today is huge for Celtic’s Champions League Aspirations

On the horizon something has to give today in the SWPL1 title race as Glasgow City and theRangers meet at 4.10pm this afternoon.

In a league as tight as an Elvis Presley jumpsuit in Vegas, Celtic’s slip up in a 2-2 home draw to Forfar Farmington are the only points dropped by the top three outside encounters played out between themselves. Yet for that landscape to in anyway alter to the benefit of Celtic they have to do what Elvis and his band had etched on their skin in a show of solidarity TCB – Taking Care of Business.

And the business that requires taking care of is complete focus in dealing with Motherwell at K-Park this lunchtime. As such that one-off Forfar aberration in a superb season has to be all the warning Fran Alonso and his team need to ensure their eyes are focused entirely on the next hurdle.

READ THIS…Impressive New Goalscorer London Pollard Strengthens Celtic’s Title Challenge

It would be easy for that focus to be side-lined with not only the top two meeting this afternoon but Celtic also having a chance to face up to Glasgow City on Wednesday night, in a four day period that could blow the title race and champions league qualification hopes for all three teams wide open, but even as we as supporters afford ourselves thoughts of what could be with the various permutations ahead over the next two sets of fixtures, the Celtic players can’t look that far ahead.

Fran Alonso will have some thoughts of his own as to whether or not to play his strongest eleven today, with consideration given to his team being able to play so many games in so few days as the schedule of Sunday-Wednesday returns, and he has made changes in games against Hearts and Forfar to rotate the squad. Alonso however will also be acutely aware that those thoughts of stamina holding out and optimum performance being maintained from his players will be rendered pointless if Motherwell becomes an unnecessary banana skin due to excessive tinkering, as such Celtic’s head coach has a fine balancing act ahead of him today.

Photo: Malcolm Mackenzie

To second guess Alonso has proved impossible this season when it comes to squad selection, however you’d hope the solidity of a back four protected further ahead by Lisa Robertson could remain in place. Against Hearts we saw rotation in the goalkeeping department but surely Chloe Logan will be retained to allow some continuity and I think we’d all like to see Caitlin Hayes and Chloe Craig in central defence and the reassurance it brings us all. As admirably as Craig performs at full back it would set solid foundations for this game and Wednesday night to settle on a central defensive partnership over both encounters.

Meanwhile at full-back the youthful energy of Chloe Warrington and Keeva Keenan seems ideal in defence and in forming attacks, whilst in midfield Lisa Robertson presence seems to settle everyone down and is vital to Celtic’s title aspirations as well as protecting the backline and turning defence into attack.

Photo: Colin Poultney

There is however far more scope for Celtic to rotate further forward where the attacking options have been further boosted by the signing of London Pollard from Forfar Farmington. If there was to be any area of the field where Fran Alonso way choose to rotate, and capitalise on the use of extra substitutions, it could well be limiting the game exposure of the forward players.

Jacynta and Mariah Lee have both impressed since signing for the club and Sarah Ewens simply guarantees goals. Meanwhile Rachel Donaldson, Izzy Atkinson and Tegan Bowie have all shown they can more than perform at the top level. That must be a nice problem for Fran Alonso to have, even if choosing who plays keeps him up at night.

Another goal for Sarah Ewens. Photo: Alex Todd/SPP

If Celtic are to banish any thoughts of a Forfar style slip up against Motherwell today a steady back four would at least give the reassurance the back door is bolted and allow Alonso the freedom to rotate, or even rest entirely, key players such as Anna Filbey and Sarah Teegarden who have been playing a lot of football and in Teegarden’s case a watchful eye needs to remain given her recent recovery from serious injury.

Photo: Malcolm Mackenzie

All that said the prize on offer by winning three points against the ‘Well this afternoon is an opportunity to relax for a few hours at least and watch the stress of the league race transfer to both theRangers and Glasgow City this afternoon.

To do that Celtic need to be taking care of business at lunchtime. Considering the Celts won the last meeting between the sides comfortably you’d hope by 6pm tonight it will be a case of ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing’ for the Hoops title aspirations.

You can watch Celtic vs Motherwell on the BBC Sport Scotland website with a 12pm Kick off and if you are outside the UK you can watch for just £3 here with Soccer Watch.



David Potter inspirational book on Celtic Legend Alec McNair – the leader who led the way at Celtic for both Billy McNeill and Scott Brown is published this week by The Celtic Star. This is the third book published by this fine Celtic site following on from Matt Corr’s Invincible ( on a Treble with no defeats in the three domestic competitions, that’s the benchmark) and Walfrid and The Bould Bhoys, which was written by Liam Kelly, Matt Corr and David Potter and is just about sold out.

The third book, Alec McNair – Celtic’s Icicle by Celtic Historian David Potter is published this week and you can order your copy below. What a brilliant Celtic book it is!

Niall J

READ THIS…Book Review: Alec McNair – Celtic’s Icicle by David Potter 

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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