Chris Sutton rubbishes Livingston cliché ahead of Celtic visit

By Euan Davidson

March 5, 2022

It wouldn’t be like former Celtic striker Chris Sutton to mince his words, and ahead of a tough trip to Livingston for his old side, he’s been no different.

Sutton, who played against Livingston plenty in the Green and White, has hit out at a cliché that pervades around the West Lothian side. Despite being fourth in the table, with plenty of goals to their name, they’re seen as kick-and-rush merchants.

Celtic will face a number of challenges tomorrow, but Ange Postecoglou has already dismissed this tactical narrative about Livingston. They’re more than stereotypes suggest, and a place in the top 4 shows that. It won’t be like our last two games against St Mirren, where our opposition don’t really offer anything going forward.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Sutton wrote in his Daily Record column: “Don’t fall for all this stuff about Livingston being simply a rough and ready route one team.

“That’s complete nonsense – and it does them a major disservice. They have been tough in recent years and they are notoriously hard to beat on their own patch. We all know the surface suits them and no one else.

“But they can also play a bit. David Martindale has done a superb job in the last couple of years and they are on a terrific run of form.

“So much so I actually believe Celtic fans expect to drop points there tomorrow.”

Ange thrusts unsung heroes into the spotlight, as Celtic get a major pre-Livingston boost

Ange thrusts unsung heroes into the spotlight, as Celtic get a major pre-Livingston boost
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Chris Sutton is right about Livingston, but there’s too much fear about Celtic going into this one

Celtic hero Chris Sutton is right; Livingston are more than a route-one, agricultural side. We need to get away from this idea, because as defensive as they can be, they also have weapons going forward. And actually watching them in recent weeks, they’ve played some decent stuff.

It’s natural for teams to want to shut up shop against Celtic. Martindale seems the type who’ll have a go at us tomorrow, though. Having already amassed 4 points against us, he’d be within his rights to.

But, daunting as tomorrow is, it’s also a big opportunity for Celtic. It’s about the Hoops doing what they do best under Ange Postecoglou; finding gaps, exploiting space, pressing aggressively from front to back. There will be moments where Livingston leave areas to exploit. That’s the ebb and flow of a football match; it’ll happen.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

We also saw on Wednesday that Celtic are capable of taking advantage from set pieces. Given the sheer number of corners Celtic tend to win in domestic competition, there’s an opportunity there, too. Livingston are not some unbeatable side; if they were, they’d be top of the league, and not us.

Rival clubs have found ways past Martindale’s team. Yes, there’s bad form attached for Celtic, but this run has to end at some stage.

Even if Brendan Rodgers or Neil Lennon couldn’t do it; it has to finish some time. Why not tomorrow?

Read more: Celtic boss Postecoglou says he understands human nature ahead of “unusual” Livi environment