Celtic have received a timely boost ahead of the Hibernian match this Saturday as Ryan Porteous will be suspended.
The defender was sent off for a rash challenge that resulted in a straight red card last night. Despite the fact it was in the Betfred Cup, the nature of the tackle should keep him out of this Saturday’s match.
The SFA have yet to update their official suspension list for the weekend at the time of writing. However, according to their suspension guidelines, any tackle deemed violent conduct or serious foul play is an automatic two-game suspension.
For Porteous, that means he should miss this weekend’s visit of Celtic as well as November’s Betfred Cup semi-final tussle. Celtic will play the Edinburgh side at Hampden for a place in the cup final.
That could also leave Hibs pretty tight for quality at the back. Porteous is one of the best young defenders in Scottish football at the moment. However, without him, Hibs may have to play rarely-used centre-back Adam Jackson. He would be likely to partner veteran Paul Hanlon.
A boost for Celtic as Porteous sees red mist
Porteous’ challenge on Kilmarnock’s Liam Millar was a shocker. In the disciplinary guidelines, had it been a last-man challenge or for foul language or two bookings, Porteous wouldn’t have been missing this weekend. Instead, it would’ve just been for the cup semi-final.
But the nature of the red has gone against the youngster here. And with the firepower Celtic have – scoring 51 goals in 17 matches – it looks woefully bleak for Hibs on paper.
Yet, it also can’t be an excuse for Celtic to take their eye off the ball here. We all know what Hibs are capable of against us, as they’ve given us plenty of problems at Easter Road.
In the past, one of the most frustrating aspects of playing Hibernian was trying to break them down. They’ve proven a stubborn side against us in the past. We’ve failed to score in two of our last four Premiership visits there.
It most certainly isn’t going to prove to be as easy a task as many make out. Celtic have to be at it from the get-go. If we aren’t, it’s still well within Hibernian’s attacking capabilities to punish us. With the goal threats they have in Daryl Horgan and Florian Kamberi, they have legitimate dangers who have hurt us in the past.
It’s all about how we perform at the end of the day of course. If we can suck the life out of their midfield and get a fast start, we’ll be onto a winner here. And Porteous’ suspension is just another boost.