Going into the final of four straight encounters against Dundee United, its hard to imagine this one will slip past quietly. The matches have been laced with battles on and off the park.
With the red card count currently at six, there must be odds on a seventh. Two of those were rescinded but I’m certainly not hoping for any more.
This spate of fiesty encounters have brought an dirty element into the game this season. You can be sure that Jackie McNamara is at the heart of it as well.
Celtic must keep their eye on the prize though and that is three points today. Three key players are back in the frame after Wednesday’s 4-0 victory.
Stefan Johansen returns from suspension and Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong are eligible for league duty after being cup – tied for the last three ties. Johansen is a major boost for Deila but the width and pace of the former Dundee United duo has been sorely missed these past few games.
Their introduction to the squad has been a success for Deila. The transition into the team couldn’t have been any smoother particularly when you see how they eased into the Europa Cup matches.
Celtic’s gain has been United’s loss and the latters petulance has been shown in these recent games. McNamara says the pressure is beginning to show on Ronny Deila’s face but I would suggest the opposite.
Ronny has whethered the storm and come out fighting this season. Its one reason clubs, fans and the media should show more patience when making early judgementsin players or managers.
This season isn’t over and only one trophy has been decided. If Jackie McNamara believes the pressure is all on Deila he is mistaken.
The question McNamara should be asking himself is where do I go from here now that the club have sold all our best players? Not, playing mind games and getting your players to get into dirty tackles.
I expect better from the ex-Celt but I expect more from Ronny Deila and so far he’s been doing just that. Time to put United to the sword.