Celtic to face weakened Hibs for Premiership curtain call

By Euan Davidson

May 13, 2021

Hey Celtic supporters: do you like Premiership drama? Do you like excitement? Thrill-a-minute, end-to-end, eye-popping, heart-racing football?

Well, you won’t get it this weekend. Celtic will finish second and Hibs third. Relegation for Hamilton is all but confirmed, and there’s pretty much nothing to play for. You can check the league table [BBC].

Still, if you’re on a website like this, and you’ve got through that torturous opening paragraph, you’d clearly watch Celtic regardless of the circumstances. And even then, that’s downplaying the meeting with Hibs, which will be Scott Brown’s last game.

But there’s an added flavour to proceedings, courtesy of Jack Ross. The Hibs boss has said he’s going to rest players ahead of the Scottish Cup Final. When asked whether he’d be rotating his squad, Ross said [Daily Record]:

“Yeah, I’m going to be honest and say that.

“That was another bonus for me tonight, although we’ve got the league game on Saturday everything now is about preparation for the cup final.

“So we’ll use the squad properly at the weekend, we have to do that to make sure we’re in the best position mentally and physically.”

Scott Brown v Hibs, earlier this season / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Final Premiership fixtures could see Celtic getting experimental

We were promised some squad rotation ourselves last night, and it was the best part of a thumping 4-0 win. The performances of Adam Montgomery and Karamoko Dembele were legitimately exciting, and both must surely be in contention to start against a weakened Hibees.

Meanwhile, Vasilis Barkas kept a clean sheet and kept things steady when called upon at the back. There might also be opportunities for the likes of Dane Murray, who has been named as a substitute on a handful of occasions.

There will also be potential last games for Odsonne Edouard, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Kristoffer Ajer. Edouard is constantly linked elsewhere and seems odds-on (no pun intended) to leave the club. Elyounoussi is a loanee, while Ajer is also a regular feature in scurrilous gossip columns. Jonjoe Kenny will almost certainly play his last game for Celtic, and there are others in the squad, including Diego Laxalt, who will be wearing new colours in 20-21.

Consider also John Kennedy, who’ll be playing against the club who tried to bring him in [Edinburgh Live], and the manager who was second choice.

And of course, Scott Brown. What more can you say about the man? He’ll be making his final Celtic farewell against the club where it all began for him.

So, there’s plenty to get excited about. It may have all the intensity of a pre-season friendly, but there are more subplots than a series of 24.

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