Preview: Celtic face revitalised St. Mirren after huge Wednesday win

By Euan Davidson

January 29, 2021

Celtic face St. Mirren at Paradise tomorrow. It’s a game that’s almost been forgotten about with the spotlight on the Bhoys’ boardroom. Still, as businessmen leave Celtic, it’s enterprise on the park that the Hoops need tomorrow.

Looking at Lennon’s side against Hamilton on Wednesday, there was a marked improvement. Certainly, it wasn’t a classic. But it was a solid victory against opposition we should expect to beat.

Reutilising the midfield diamond behind a front two of Griffiths and Edouard, Celtic created plenty of opportunities and put the game beyond doubt relatively early on.

On paper, it’s a game that shouldn’t prove too complicated for Lennon’s men. Despite everything, Celtic are undefeated in 31 of their last 33 league games. Draws have been our undoing, with our rivals south of the Clyde hoovering up wins.

Let’s take a look at the form guide and what to look out for ahead of tomorrow’s match.

Jamie McGrath is a player on form, just ask Rangers and Dundee United. / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic v St. Mirren: a form guide

Celtic haven’t found much difficulty against St. Mirren in recent years. In fact, the Bhoys have beaten the Paisley side in their last 14 home encounters.

In the last 11 meetings between the teams in all competitions, Celtic have kept 9 clean sheets [WhoScored?]. Jim Goodwin has struggled to get the best of his former team, it’s fair to say.

The Irishman’s side have found wins hard to come by in January. Losses against St. Johnstone in the league [BBC] and Livingston in the Betfred Cup followed draws with Motherwell and Kilmarnock.

On Wednesday, though, St. Mirren absolutely destroyed Dundee United. The Buddies tore through the Terriers 5-1 [Sky Sports].

New signing Eamonn Brophy has yet to hit the mark for Goodwin’s team. Yet, you feel it’s just a matter of time. The 24-year-old Scotsman hasn’t blown anyone away this season, but he’s a proven goalscorer, and is likely to start against Celtic tomorrow.

Celtic, meanwhile, picked up their first win of 2021 against Hamilton on Wednesday. Draws against Hibs, Livingston (twice) and a loss against Rangers have made this a particularly miserable month for the Bhoys.

Ending January on a high would put us in good stead for the business end of the season.

Celtic scoring against St. Mirren earlier this season. / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Expect goals

The return of Celtic’s preferred front two made all the difference on Wednesday night. Edouard and Griffiths were impressive together this time last season. If we’re going to make any sort of comeback in the Premiership, the pair are vital.

Using the attacking diamond system, Turnbull and McGregor are capable of creating chances, while Ryan Christie will probably return to the first-team. St. Mirren have generally defended competently this month, but we’d still be amazed if the dynamic duo up top don’t find the net.

St. Mirren, meanwhile, are a threat going forward. Wednesday may have been a flash in the pan, but they have attacking options that would give anyone pause for thought. Ask Rangers [BBC].

Irishman Jamie McGrath provides goals from midfield, with 5 already this season [Transfermarkt]. Obika has found the net three times in 20-21, with the aforementioned Brophy yet to make his mark for the Buddies.

Either way, don’t be surprised if there are 3 or more goals in this one. Celtic v St. Mirren could be tasty. Neil Lennon knows he can’t afford any more slip-ups, while Goodwin’s St. Mirren need to build on an emphatic result.