Kilmarnock v Celtic: A Meeting Of Clubs With Managerial Questions

Kilmarnock host Celtic at Rugby Park in the SPFL tomorrow evening. Both clubs have endured a dreadful run of form in recent months. The hosts sacked manager Alex Dyer after Killie’s loss against St Johnstone at the weekend meant that the Ayrshire side had won just three matches in their last 12. Meanwhile, Celtic are on an unprecedented streak of nine wins in 24 games. A January review of the management team was promised by the club’s hierarchy but didn’t materialise. As such, Neil Lennon remains in the hot seat but is very much a man under pressure.

In that sense, both clubs have different managerial questions going into the fixture.

Kilmarnock will be under the control of a caretaker boss, who is as yet unknown. Their sporting director, James Fowler, is favourite for the job, whilst Tommy Wright and Stephen Robinson are both available. Whoever does take charge over the next few games could answer the question of who the new boss will be if they impress.

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In the Celtic camp, Neil Lennon knows that every passing game without a win brings the threat of being axed that bit closer. The Hoops are only five points ahead of Aberdeen and with the title race over, they need to ensure that they finish second to allow a chance at Champions League qualification next season.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

Kilmarnock will be without veteran defender Kirk Broadfoot, who has a knee problem, and Stuart Findlay is out with an ankle injury. Callum Waters is sidelined with an abdominal issue, while winger Greg Kiltie and former Celtic midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu are also doubtful.

Celtic cannot call upon Christopher Jullien and James Forrest, who are long term absentees. Stephen Welsh is likely to play at centre half instead of Shane Duffy, unless the reported loan signing of Jonjoe Kenny is confirmed ahead of the fixture, which would then enable Kris Ajer to move inside. Scott Bain is expected to start in goal and Greg Taylor is still thought to be preferred to Diego Laxalt.

All eyes will be on the team sheet to see who gets the nod to play up front after Neil Lennon subbed Griffiths at half time against St Mirren on Saturday and slammed him for his lack of fitness. Tom Rogic came on in his place as Celtic changed to a 4-5-1 shape, though Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala are both options if Celtic go ahead with their usual 4-4-2 formation.

The match kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on Sky Sports Football.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  1. Another snide comment Celtic have told all concerned Lennon is manager why dont you accept what you like with your snide comments wake up smell coffee we have had a season of disastrous proportions we have lost the league to team that all Scottish media have been hoping for 10 years where we have had a ball 9 in a row quadruple in 20 30 years and when we have gone not like some mob dont come back it will be in print it might also say virus ruined our chance for ten so stand by the team and if you cant write something I dont know I’m going to block you it’s the same crap for the last six months take the bad with good