When Celtic face Hibs in the Betfred Cup semi-final on Saturday, the Hoops will go into the game as heavy favourites. They are at the top of the Premiership table, whilst Hibs are in the relegation zone.
However, the Hoops were also heavy favourites to beat Hibs when the teams met at Easter Road at the end of September. Despite that, the Hoops were held to a 1-1 draw.
Celtic captain Scott Brown played in that game. He does not want to see a repeat performance when the Hoops face Hibs at Hampden Park.
“Up our game”
“Hibs give us a hard game a couple of weeks ago there and made it difficult for us to play out. We went a goal down early doors, and they defended well, so we’re going to have to make sure we up our game for Saturday” he told the Celtic Twitter account.
In Celtic’s defence, they were denied what looked to be two good penalty claims against Hibs. However, as Brown is correct to point out, the Easter Road side certainly made it difficult for the Hoops.
Hoops must avoid conceding the first goal
That partly might have been down to the fact that Hibs scored the opening goal in the game. It gave them something to defend. Celtic can’t allow that to happen again in the semi-final. They would defend with even more determination to preserve a lead in a knockout cup tie.
It is right that Celtic are favourites for the game. Their recent record in cup competitions is second to none. However, if they don’t improve on their last performance against Hibs there could be a cup upset.