Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Hearts at Murrayfield is Celtic’s biggest game in years. The league leaders will provide the biggest test to Celtic’s domestic dominance since Brendan Rodgers’ took charge.
It’s been nothing but success after success for Celtic since 2016 in Scotland and they have collected six out of six available trophies on home soil.
After completing an unprecedented undefeated treble in his first season, Brendan Rodgers made history again by leading Celtic to another treble last season.
Up for the battle
Hearts are well known as a tough physical side and already have a victory over Celtic to boast about this season. They have suffered some injuries recently, notably John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu, both ruled out for five months.
The latter may prove to be a loss to Hearts’ physicality, but Craig Levein will still have his side right up for the occasion on Sunday.
Celtic and Hearts don’t get on, they never have. The closest they came to being friendly was when Hearts ran away with the 2014/15 Championship title.
That had a lot to do with Hearts leaving Rangers trailing in the dust in third place that season.
Hearts handed Rodgers his first ever defeat in Scottish Football. The 4-0 hammering last December ended Celtic’s 69 match unbeaten run.
The semi-final itself is shrouded in controversy. Initially it was scheduled to be played at Hampden AFTER Rangers vs Aberdeen took place on the same pitch earlier in the day.
Eventually the SPFL saw sense and made the switch. Instead, 30,000 Celtic fans will be making the trip along the M8 to Murrayfield.
Celtic must not slip up on Sunday. A treble this season, with a supposed resurgent Rangers in the mix, would be the sweetest one yet.
This is Rodgers’ biggest game in his Celtic managerial career.