Celtic's Christopher Jullien has a demon to rest at Livingston on Wednesday
As Celtic get set to visit the Tony Macaroni Arena this week, there’s one particular Celt that has a major demon to put to rest.
Christopher Jullien had looked the business heading into our last trip to Livingston back in October. Dominant displays against the likes of AIK, Rangers, and Hibernian had the Hoops fans buzzing about their new £7million signing (Scottish Sun).
However, in a bizarre turn of events, Jullien performed extremely poorly in West Lothian. It was his first bad 90 minutes in a Celtic jersey, with his weaknesses all on show against Livi’s Lyndon Dykes.
Livingston went on to win the game 2-0 against the 10-man Hoops, who had Ryan Christie sent off. Yet the most alarming battle of them all was Dykes vs Jullien.
The Livi man gave our centre-back a torrid time. Dykes won plenty of flick-ons and seemed to over-power our big-money summer signing constantly. He also got in on the act with a goal after he nipped past Jullien to chip Fraser Forster.
It was a disastrous day for the Celtic stopper, who went down injured late on and was criticised post-match for his display. He then came out on Twitter and admitted that he was “nervous” during the game.
Back to Livingston we go
On Wednesday, he’s back at the scene of the crime. Yes, Jullien did win the battle with Dykes at Parkhead back in November. However, a nice 4-0 win at Celtic Park is a much different challenge compared to a Wednesday night trip to West Lothian on a tight, plastic pitch.
It’s a tremendous opportunity for Jullien to show that he’s managed to improve ten-fold since that October disappointment however.
The Frenchman is likely to come up against Dykes once again this week, and Livingston will aim to hit him with direct balls. It’s absolutely vital that our towering centre-back wins a lot more duels than he did several months ago.
The only negative to big Jullien is that he seems to get a tad overpowered at times, and can look uncomfortable against physically strong centre-forwards. The likes of Sam Cosgrove, Dykes, and Marios Ogboe have given him some troubles this season. But it was Dykes who started it off, and that means that it’s a big chance for our man at the Tony Macaroni.
Make no mistake, a dominant performance and three points will finally put Jullien’s Livingston demon to rest. Here’s hoping it’s a marked improvement from what happened there last year.
How do you see the Dykes-Jullien battle going this time around? What went wrong at Livingston last time and how vital is it that we don’t underestimate this contest? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion forum below.