Celtic FC Women will be looking to a Glasgow Derby win in the first of 10 post-split SWPL fixtures tonight as they travel to take on theRangers at Broadwood Stadium in the first SWPL1 fixture to be shown live on Sky Sports.
Fran Alonso’s side currently lie in second spot in the SWPL1 table, and tonight face their Glasgow rivals for the third time this season. With an unbeaten record against the Ibrox side this season to defend, the Hoops will be looking to maintain that impressive record at Broadwood tonight.
Last time out Celtic dished out something of a derby ‘skelping to our city rivals, and Fran Alonso believes, speaking in his pre-match press conference attended by The Celtic Star, that his squad can take real belief from that 3-0 victory into this evening’s fixture.
“Obviously it was a very good result. There was a great fighting spirit to keep a clean sheet, even in the times we didn’t have as much control of the game. I was so proud of the performance of the players. The players that started did fantastic, and the players that came from the bench, again, did fantastic, helping us keep a clean sheet that gave us a lot of belief. We know that against (the)Rangers it’s a very difficult game. For me, it’s one of the most difficult games, if not the most difficult that we have left,” Fran Alonso stated.
With the SWPL now separated into a top and bottom split, which will see the teams playing each other home and away over the course of the final 10 games, Celtic are in a position, despite being nine points behind Glasgow City (who won 2-0 away to Hibs yesterday) , in the title race where the outcome of the race remains very much in their own hands.
If Celtic win all their games, starting with tonight’s visit to Broadwood, Celtic should emerge as league Champions. It’s a tall order of course but this is a Celtic side who have scored 90 goals this season and conceded just four, so as difficult as it sounds, impossible it is not.
“There are 10 games, so we know if we win all of them, then we are champions. So that is our aim, and that will be the aim for the other top two teams. The top three will all have the same goal, and it’s going to be very tough. Our record this year has been very good against Rangers, but not so good against Glasgow City due to different circumstances.
“We know that we have to take it one game at a time, and the first one is on Monday (tonight). So, for us, it’s massive, it’s a massive three points. If we don’t win, it’s still possible to achieve our dreams but that will then be depending on others, and we don’t want that to happen. So, we will do our very best to make sure we win the game,” Fran Alonso said.
Tonight’s game is one Celtic cannot afford to lose. Malky Thomson’s theRangers’ side are third place in the table but are only a solitary point behind the Hoops and have scored one less goal and conceded one more. However Celtic could claim to have the psychological edge over their opponents having thumped theRangers in the last meeting at Excelsior stadium with Caitlin Hayes scoring an impressive double.
And Alonso believes, with the backing of a large and vocal away support his team with the backing of their fans can emerge with a vital three points.
“Obviously at the time they were on a great run of form, and we just didn’t want to concede or lose. We responded fantastically to their pressure from the fans, or even from the team. We defended perfectly and we almost won the game in the last couple of minutes.
“So I don’t think we were intimidated last time, but it is a very tough place to go. We have so many difficult games left, but for me, this one is probably the most difficult. We have to go there and approach the game like we did the last time, hopefully with more chances, more possession and more fans.
“When we have our fans, the girls always play much better. They feel their support. So, fingers crossed, it’s a big crowd, and those who cannot go to the game can watch it on TV. The fans have been fantastic this year. In the last game in Edinburgh against Hearts they were singing for 90 minutes, and you can hear them every game.
“It’s not only home games, they are supporting us away and I’m expecting another big crowd of Celtic supporters. Hopefully, we are able to celebrate a win together.”
It certainly looks like Celtic will have a large following at Broadwood tonight. Tickets remain on sale and you can purchase tickets by calling 0871 226 1888 and selecting option 4, or by emailing email@example.com for those who would prefer not to pay the 13p a minute call charges.
Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions and can be collected from Broadwood Stadium ahead of the fixture.
For those who cannot make it along, you can see the Glasgow Derby live on Sky Sports for the first time ever in an SWPL1 fixture. It’s on both Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with the pre-match build up starting at 7pm ahead of a 7.30 kick off.
As ever with a Glasgow Derby fixture this promises to be a cracking encounter and a win over our city rivals will give this Celtic side confidence and momentum ahead of a tilt at winning their first ever SWPL1 title.
🟢 Derby Day!⚪️
Our post-split campaign kicks off tonight! 🍀
🏟 Broadwood Stadium
🎟 Limited tickets remaining, call 0871 226 1888 and select option 4
📺 @SkySports #RANCEL | #SWPL | #COYGIG pic.twitter.com/TSrYsvR4hv
— Celtic FC Women (@CelticFCWomen) March 27, 2023