Celtic fans will be delighted to hear that the international break has come to an end and club football will return this weekend. They may be less pleased to find out that there’s another break in four weeks time.
Neil Lennon’s men will cram seven games into that short period with matches coming in three different competitions. Let’s take a look at the fixtures and what our aims should be.
Four of the seven matches are in the league – all at weekends. We start with Saturday’s clash away to Hamilton Accies before taking on Kilmarnock at home. Hibernian then follow at Easter Road before we finish off the busy period with another away game – this time at high-flying Livingston.
While four wins will obviously be the objective, you wonder if Lennon and the players would settle for ten points from 12. We’re capable of winning all the games but last season proved how difficult some clashes can be.
Kilmarnock beat us, albeit at Rugby Park, last term while Hibernian and Livingston both took points off of us on two separate occasions. Trips to Easter Road and Almondvale don’t look particularly easy – especially on the back of tiring midweek games.
Would class success as: taking 10 points from 12 (four wins would be smashing though)
The task for the Betfred Cup is far more simple. We face Partick Thistle at Celtic Park on September 25th. Quite simply, only a victory will do. Win and we’re back at Hampden and two games away from a tenth successive domestic trophy.
Would class success as: beating Thistle
Celtic’s season will receive some much needed glamour from the Europa League. It may not be quite as precious as it’s older brother the Champions League but clashes against Lazio, Rennes and Cluj should be interesting enough.
Celtic will face the latter two before the next international break. We travel to Rennes next Thursday and then face a rematch with Cluj a fortnight later.
Taking six points would be a wonderful achievement but perhaps slightly unrealistic. Four points would be an excellent return from the two fixtures and set us up very strongly for a shot at making the last 32 of the competition.