If Neil Lennon’s comments are anything to go by, it looks as though Celtic are going to take to Fir Park tonight with a two-striker system.
In Celtic’s last two games, we’ve lined up with a 3-5-2 as Lennon looks to get the duo of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths firing with each other. They’ve most certainly done that. Edouard has five goals since the winter break whilst Griffiths has buried three.
Only in one game has Lennon not gone with a back three and two strikers sinec the resumption of domestic action. That came in a 3-0 home win against Ross County, where Edouard bagged two of his goals. However, with Motherwell away coming up tonight, it’s by far our biggest test since returning.
Yet, despite the Steelmen sitting in third place, Lennon doesn’t look as though he’s going to give the defence any more protection. Speaking in comments published by the Daily Record, this is what the boss had to say:
“It hasn’t surprised me how well they’ve linked up. Eddy is a top, top player and Leigh is experienced and a natural centre forward. I think it suits him to have someone up there with him.
“I’m pleased with it, don’t get me wrong, very pleased with it. I’m not playing two up front because it’s what I like; it’s what I think is best for the team at any given time.
“Playing two up front doesn’t always work for you but so far, so good.”
Another step up tonight in North Lanarkshire
So it looks as though Lennon could very well be lining up both Eddy and Griff for tonight. Both strikers are in-form and don’t look like they need a rest just yet.
The 3-5-2 seems like the best system to go with at Fir Park. Motherwell have real energy in the middle of the pitch. Allan Campbell, Liam Polworth, and Liam Donnelly have all proven to be dangerous going forward this season. Yet, at the same time, both Polworth and Campbell are effective playing in a more defensive role too.
If Celtic flood the midfield, it gives us extra insurance in there. It should, primarily, ensure that the Steelmen don’t win what will be a key battle tonight. Granted, it does leave us a tad exposed down the flanks, where Motherwell will look to feed Chris Long.
However, Griffiths and Edouard have both the individual and team-work abilities to ensure we’re more productive up the other end. After all, they didn’t combine too well at Hamilton, and yet Edouard scored two whilst Griffiths played a key goal in goals number one and four.
So long as both are having an effect on the team, they have to stay there. Lennon’s comments suggest he’s going to stick with it for now, saying that it’s “so far, so good” regarding the partnership.
He does, however, have an interesting juggling act to take into consideration. Lennon must have one eye on Copenhagen in two weeks’ time. Celtic are playing every midweek and weekend in the run-up to that one. So rotation will be key in the coming games too. Tonight, however, it sounds as though that deadly-duo are going to be released once again.