St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson will be hoping for a far different performance his team compared to the last time they visited Celtic Park, back on a fateful day in April.
Ange Postecoglou’s side were in devastating form that afternoon, winning by an incredible 7-0 margin. The goals came from six different goalscorers with Matt O’Riley grabbing a double alongside efforts from Reo Hatate, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Daizen Maeda, Josip Juranovic and Liel Abada.
It was a day to forget for the Perth outfit and Davidson is looking for better on Saturday lunchtime.
“We conceded goals at bad times and gave away bad goals that day,” he told The Courier. “We need to make it so that if they score, it is a fantastic goal and something we can’t do anything about.
“We don’t want to be sloppy in possession, especially in the middle third and we want to ask their defenders questions. You go to Celtic Park and know it is always going to be really tough.
“Playing there and at Ibrox are the two hardest fixtures in the calendar. We need to go with a game-plan and work out how can we stop them first and foremost.
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“I watched the last game we played against them at McDiarmid and I felt we didn’t keep the ball well enough in the first half. That will be key to how successful we are and how much pressure we can put them under. We can’t let them dictate the game for the full 90 minutes. It’s easier said than done.”
That game in Perth was a lot closer than the April encounter with the Bhoys requiring a desperately late Giorgos Giakoumakis winner to secure the three points.
Many will be expecting a tight match tomorrow too with winter football and defensive visitors likely to make it tough for Celtic. St Johnstone are also in the midst of a six-match unbeaten run in the top flight.
However, that 7-0 result in April serves as a reminder of what Celtic can be capable of if an early goal goes in and our attackers click in the final third. If the Bhoys can set a tempo and intensity from kick-off, they’ll be hard to stop.
In other news, Weekend broadcast bonus for Celtic support.