Motherwell receive deserved honours after excellent month; Celtic will need to be wary
Celtic are on excellent form, but so are our next domestic opposition in the form of Motherwell.
The Bhoys host the Steelmen this Sunday, with jubilant manager Graham Alexander picking up Manager of the Month honours for November [MFC].
Alexander’s side overcame Motherwell, Dundee United and Hearts during November, and the boss’ reward has been his second Manager of the Month in a calendar year. The last time Celtic met Motherwell, the Bhoys triumphed at Fir Park, winning 2-0 through Jota and a David Turnbull thunderbolt.
That was in a period of bad form for the Steelmen. But through the goals of ex-Celtic striker Tony Watt, Alexander’s side have fired themselves to fifth in the table [BBC]. They’ve won 3 of their last six, but there have been some blots on the copybook. Namely a thumping from Rangers and a loss to – of all teams – Dundee.
With Celtic having to deal with Real Betis tonight, Ange Postecoglou has put a focus on resting some of his first-team players. That’s the smart call here, even though there’s some excellent incentive for Celtic to beat Betis at Paradise tonight.
Keeping Alexander’s side quiet will be a priority. In only one game since the last time Celtic met Motherwell have the Steelmen gone without scoring. Tony Watt leads the scoring charts, with Kyogo Furhashi and Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez in hot pursuit [BBC].
Celtic should fear no-one, but nor should they underestimate Motherwell
We know all about what Motherwell can do to derail a title race. The less said about that, the better.
However, it shows the quality that’s in the league just now. In something of a topsy-turvy season, familiar foes like Aberdeen and Hibs have fallen away. Hearts, Motherwell and Dundee United represent the chasing pack behind Celtic and Rangers.
Alexander and his side will be full of confidence heading into this one. That’s something Celtic need to crush right from the off.
Admittedly, the signs are good. Celtic dominated the game at Fir Park, and a sensational strike from a former Motherwell man sealed the three points. Since then, though, they’ve undoubtedly improved, and they’re a threat to the positive run that the Hoops are on.
Celtic will need to race out the traps like they did at Fir Park. Shutting up a resurgent Motherwell is the absolute priority on Sunday.
Maybe then, Ange Postecoglou can add his second Manager of the Month award in 2021.