Former Celtic attacking midfielder Kris Commons thinks that Neil Lennon’s Bhoys will be out to send a title statement against Hamilton today at Celtic Park, writing in The Scottish Daily Mail this weekend (01/08 print edition, page 111).
Celtic start the quest for ten-in-a-row against Brian Rice’s side at 4:30pm, the side’s first competitive match since way back in mid-March.
Lennon has been working hard to prepare his team in pre-season, taking the team to Loughborough University and on to France for a series of testing friendlies.
With two tune-up matches last week against Scottish Premiership opposition, the squad is in good shape ahead of the big kick-off.
Rivals Rangers won 1-0 up at Aberdeen yesterday but were not impressive in terms of performance.
Commons thinks that Celtic will now be out to show everyone why they are red hot favourites to lift the title yet again.
As quoted by The Scottish Daily Mail (01/08 print edition, page 111), he said: “Looking back to the opening day of last season, Celtic thumped St Johnstone 7-0 in what was a sign of things to come. Ryan Christie was the star of the show that day with a hat-trick which really ignited his own campaign on a personal level.
“With the greatest respect to Hamilton and their manager Brian Rice, Celtic will be looking to do something similar tomorrow afternoon. Accies could well be rabbits in the headlights because I don’t see the champions being in the mood to settle for a scrappy 2-1 victory or anything like that.
“They will want to put their foot on the gas right from the first whistle and leave the rest of the Premiership choking on their exhaust fumes. It’s about sending out a statement and flexing their muscles. Christie will again be a key part of that in what looks to be an embarrassment of riches in the final third.”
Despite the hype, I’m certain that what Lennon is looking for most of all is simply three points.
These early matches are unusual, played behind closed doors, and there could be a lower tempo to the occasion than a normal flag day.
While a statement performance would be very welcome, especially if the goals rack up, personally I’d be delighted with a couple of goals and a clean sheet, no fuss.
Hamilton will be out to defend their lines and as we know that can be difficult to break down.
It’s an exciting time to be a Celtic supporter and no matter how the victories come this season, it all goes towards a potential ten-in-a-row.