With Celtic getting set to kick off the defence of their Scottish Premiership crown tomorrow, we take a look at Livingston as an old rival brings his side to Parkhead.
Indeed, veteran foe Kenny Miller will arrive looking to grab a historic first win in his Premiership debut as Livingston’s player/coach.
Livi have been playing with a spring in their step since the former Rangers man was appointed. They have won all four Betfred Cup group stage games and conceding just one goal.
Miller’s side are red-hot favourites to go down this season. However, some impressive tweaks to the squad have been made since the former Celtic striker took the helm.
Keeping the likes of Craig Halkett and Scott Pittman is a massive boost. Yet it remains to be seen how they replace surprising summer departures such as Gregor Buchanan and Jackson Longridge.
One notable signing in the last few days was the acquisition of Steven Lawless from Partick Thistle. The attacking midfielder capable of playing anywhere across an attacking three. Celtic have rarely been hurt by Lawless, but he will play a big part in Livi’s season as a whole.
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David Hopkin’s Almondvale outfit were well known last season as a gritty side who always turned games into a battle with their defensive style. It looks as though Miller is looking to continue that on, as even against the lower league sides, Livingston have remained in a defensive structure that’s resulted in three clean sheets in the Betfred Cup.
These are the kind of matches that frustrated Celtic last season, as they were often unable to break down teams with good organisation about them.
It’ll be surprising if Miller sets up his Livingston side to attack Celtic with any kind of gusto. Instead, expect a bank of five and four across their own half to frustrate Celtic’s flair players.
With the Hoops back from a tiring win over Rosenborg on Wednesday night, they won’t want to be caught cold.
Not much is known about Miller’s side as of yet. It remains to be seen if he’ll be able to manage the notoriously difficult player/coach aspect.
However, for Celtic, the timing of the first goal will be important tomorrow. For this will be as defensive a side as they’ll face all season.