The Celtic Machine

Celtic made their way into the semi finals of the League Cup with a 4-0 win at Dens Park on Wednesday night. For Dundee, their poor start to their season continued.

Brendan Rodgers made full use of the strong array of personnel he has at his disposal. He made six changes from last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Ross County at Celtic Park.

Out went Ralston, Simunovic, Rogic, Armstrong and Dembele. In came Tierney, Lustig, Boyata, Ntcham, Roberts and Sinclair.

When you consider that many changes doesn’t affect the team’s domestic ability, you know you have a solid squad. It was an almost seamless transition and it didn’t impact on Celtic’s ability in Tayside.

Neil McCann deployed his team to quite literally set about the Celtic machine. From the minute the whistle went, his players were going in hard on Celtic’s.

Not all of the tackles were clean. Not all were deemed as free kicks either.

Unsurprisingly, the first yellow card would go to a Dundee player. However, the next went to Olivier Ntcham which got the backs up of the Celtic support and with good reason.

Dundee were taking lumps out of Celtic in a bid to disrupt play. The match official John Beaton got many of his decisions wrong (for both teams), but he should have been swifter with the roughhousing by Neil McCann’s players.

Had Beaton clamped down earlier we may have had a better flow to the game but instead he allowed things to get a little bit tasty. Celtic went about their business though and secured another unbeaten domestic game which will see them play Hibs at Hampden.

It was also good to see Dedryck Boyata back in the fold. The Belgian has been out since early in the summer following an injury in a pre-season friendly.

As you would expect Boyata still requires game time. He may get a further chance at Ibrox, but like Wednesday, he may not play the full 90 minutes.

Celtic are almost back to full strength and so far remain unbeaten in all domestic competitions. There is no doubt Rangers will be up for this game, but unless Celtic fail to turn up I can’t see anything other than a Celtic victory.

The biggest problem for Brendan Rodgers is which eleven players to put out there. He will have one eye on Wednesday’s game away in Anderlecht, but the only concerns he should have are those who aren’t at full match sharpness.

Other than Boyata who I’ve already mentioned, Dembele and Roberts are the only players who may not be up-to-speed yet. I can see Dembele getting a chance against Rangers and the same goes for Roberts, but changes will be made in preparation for the trip to Belgium.

For now though, it is all eyes on Ibrox this Saturday lunchtime. Anyone for 4-0?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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