Celtic swaggered back onto the domestic scene last Saturday with a convincing victory over Hamilton. After a two-week international break, the Bhoys put three goals past the Accies on their own (artificial) turf.
James Forrest has hugged the headlines for club and country recently, but it was the Ryan Christie who continued is amazing form for the Hoops. He scored the opening goal after a training ground corner, something that Chris Sutton slammed Hamilton for.
You don’t get something for nothing when it comes to the former Celtic striker. And yet that was what Celtic got next.
Celtic’s second goal came in the second half when Hamilton’s Scott Martin flicked in a Scott Sinclair header to make it 0-2 to Celtic. With Sinclair’s luck it might not have gone in but we’re all happy to accept that gift.
Perhaps the best moment was when Leigh Griffiths took to the field in the 75th minute. He has been missed by the fans and seven minutes after his arrival, he drilled home a low free kick to complete Hamilton’s misery.
Accies were lucky it wasn’t more. They’d already got away with a stonewall hand ball in the box during the first half which should have been a penalty.
Celtic also missed a barrel load of chances by Odsonne Edouard, Olivier Ntcham and of course Scott Sinclair. It was a solid victory though on return to domestic matters.
Tomorrow night it is back to Europa League duty and an away trip to face the Norwegian Champions. There aren’t many teams Celtic have faced in Europe more than they have Rosenborg.
This will also be the fourth time they have played each other in the same season. Having eliminated Rini Coolen’s side in the Champions League qualifiers, they were grouped once together in Group B for the Europa League following Celtic’s exit from the Champions League qualifiers.
Celtic have won both home games so far, but last time they were at the Lerkandal it was 0-0. Realistically, Brendan Rodgers needs a victory in Norway.
Leipzig and Celtic are on the same points. If the group stage was to end like that then Leipzig would go through to the last 32 based on goal difference between both teams’ games against each other.
The best ideal scenario for Celtic tomorrow would be to beat Rosenborg and for Salzburg to beat Leipzig. In a fortnight, I would firmly expect Leipzig to beat Rosenborg in Germany so that would mean Celtic would need to get something from their final match against Salzburg at Celtic Park be it a win or a draw.
If Salzburg do beat Leipzig then they may not be as fired up for the last game having secured the winners spot. This is all ifs and buts and Celtic have to take it one game at a time.
For now, they are still in with a chance of qualification. Both games are in their hands but they need the Germans to slip up as well.
Brendan Rodgers will know who is going to be playing in this match. Players are returning from injury at a crucial time as the fixtures begin to pile up.
Let’s hope that after tomorrow night we are looking towards the final group stage match in two weeks time still in with a chance of a place in the last 32.