Taking Stock – Wolves test a good marker ahead of Scottish Premiership opener

Tomorrow we take on English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Our trip to Ireland comes after a spell in the Portuguese Algarve and then a tour of Asia, with Japan being the host country for our pre-season jaunt this year.

Players like Welsh, Scales, Bernabei and Turnbull will have been of keen interest to the Irishman as he sets about reshaping the Hoops squad to his own specifications ahead of the new Scottish Premiership campaign. With Daizen Maeda proving his worth at centre-forward, it would now seem that Rodgers isn’t as eager to bring in another striker as was first thought.

The two games in Japan were great in the respect that it got valuable match-minutes into the legs of all the bhoys, whilst allowing the gaffer to tweak with slight variations of play and formations too. Faltering to Yokohama F. Marinos 6-4 wasn’t ideal, but it has to be factored in that they are in the middle of their season, whilst they also gave Man City a run for their money too. So all is not doom and gloom in that regard.

The second fixture against Gamba Osaka was better. For a start, we kept a clean sheet and that always allows you to build foundations upon when you don’t concede. We managed to nick a fortuitous goal thanks to the tireless work-rate of Argentinian full-back, Alexandro Bernabei, who although is admittedly rough round the edges, will see an opportunity to impress Rodgers on his return to Glasgow’s East End. Brendan looked delighted with his enthusiasm anyway, that’s certain.

However, Saturday’s afternoon clash against a seasoned Premier League outfit should be a good marker of where the team and squad is more generally. We will be locking horns with some good players and a manager who is very experienced too. It should be an intriguing fixture by all accounts and will allow us to see where the improvements must be made before the start of the new season on 5 August.

It can’t come quick enough!

Paul Gillespie

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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