Opinion: Two Up Front And Delivering Balls Into The Box Could Be Key Against Hamilton

Yesterday morning I had a quick look through some of the video highlights of Ross County. I don’t profess to be some sort of video analysis expert, but one thing that stood out immediately was how vulnerable County are down their left side. Consequentially, we wrote an article at The Celtic Star which urged Celtic to utilise the pace of Jeremie Frimpong to get in behind County’s left back and exploit their weaknesses. That’s exactly what happened for the opening goal, when Frimpong got round the back and squared to Turnbull. My only frustration was that we didn’t do it more often.

Today, my attention has turned to Hamilton Accies. The Accies lost 2-0 against Livingston last night and one thing that immediately stands out from the highlights reel is just how many chances the visitors got from crosses into the box. It really does seem that Hamilton struggle to defend cross balls… as you can see in the clip below:

Considering that most SPFL teams sit deep and narrow against us, one of the simple ways to break down Hamilton on Boxing Day is to work the ball wide and deliver crosses into the box. For that to be effective we need to stick with the two upfront. Leigh Griffiths has already shown himself to be capable in the air. Last night he scored a cracking header and in the first half he nodded down to Christie whose volley was blocked at the last moment.

Celtic did seem reluctant to go wide last night at times. Frimpong and Laxalt often got the ball in acres of space and came back into the crowded central area. Encouraging Jeremie to go on the outside and using Mikey Johnston’s speed on the left side of midfield could be crucial to working crossing positions and then I’ve no doubt that chances will follow.

It is also worth noting that Turnbull’s dangerous corners should be enthusing the likes of Jullien and Ajer ahead of this fixture.

As I noted in yesterday’s article, we shouldn’t need a masterplan to beat SPFL opposition, but it’s always worth spotting weaknesses in an opponent.

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. 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/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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