Dundee United snatch a draw ahead of Celtic meeting

By Euan Davidson

December 26, 2020

Celtic’s next opponents, Dundee United, grabbed a last-second point at home to Motherwell today.

Substitute Nicky Clark hit a 92nd minute equaliser for Micky Mellon’s side, who sit 5th in the Premiership after 20 games (BBC). It’s a point that maintained the Terriers’ 3-game unbeaten run in the league.

Despite dominating possession, Dundee United had to be bailed out after ex-Celt Tony Watt’s early goal (WhoScored?). It’s a good omen for Neil Lennon, who knows that Celtic need maximum points from the visit of Mellon’s side.

There were several disappointing performances from a Dundee United perspective. Lawrence Shankland once again struggled against top-flight opposition, and Jamie Robson came off with nearly an hour played.

 

Celtic right-back Frimpong takes on Dundee United’s Jamie Robson earlier this season / (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group via Getty Images)

Celtic Park awaits for Mellon’s United

According to statistical experts WhoScored?, Dundee United boasted a lot of possession and a great number of touches. Unfortunately for United, they couldn’t do much with it.

When Celtic target Benjamin Siegrist conceded after 9 minutes, the signs were ominous. Failing to make use of limited opportunities at Tannadice, Tony Watt’s goal was the difference between the two sides.

With Livingston hot on the heels of Mellon’s side, Nicky Clark’s point was vital. However, it might not enough to prevent Livi, who have a game in hand, from pipping the Terriers to 5th place in the Premiership.

Celtic know they’ll have the lion’s share of possession when the teams meet on the 30th of December. Dundee United like to use central positions to create attacks, and the onus will likely be on Ismaila Soro to disrupt a likely midfield pairing of Füchs and Butcher.

Despite boasting the attacking talents of Marc McNulty and Lawrence Shankland, United haven’t looked particularly prolific so far this season. Bizarrely, they’re in the top 5, yet they have a goal difference of -7 (BBC).

Controversially rescheduled for 3pm, the final fixture of 2020 is vital for Celtic. Nothing less than a win will do, with a trip to Ibrox following on the 2nd of January.