St Johnstone problems go from front to back as Celtic lie in wait

By Euan Davidson

December 23, 2021

If we thought Celtic had a disappointing result last night, St Johnstone have given us a bit of perspective ahead of our trip to McDiarmid Park on Sunday.

The Saints, who won two domestic trophies in 20-21, have struggled immensely this campaign. After last night, a 2-1 loss at home to Ross County [BBC], Callum Davidson’s side have lost their last seven games. They hadn’t scored in the 4 ahead of last night, and have been leaking goals to compound their issues.

While Celtic were hardly firing on all cylinders last night, St Johnstone are potentially an ideal opponent ahead of the winter break.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

After the result, Davidson bemoaned the defensive lapses of his side, saying [BBC]: “People say we’re not scoring enough goals, but my thoughts are we’re not doing enough on the defensive side to keep teams out.

“I’m really disappointed with how many chances we’ve conceded on the flip-side of the chances we’re creating. There’s an issue there, we need to sort it, I take responsibility for it.”

The Courier, in their post-match analysis, were ruthless. They said that St Johnstone are “on a truly wretched run of form”, and that the Saints are “are stuck in a footballing fog”.

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Celtic absolutely have to take advantage of miserable St Johnstone form

After last night, the idea of Celtic “taking advantage” of anyone’s situation seems a bit far-fetched, admittedly. A goalless draw with St Mirren was not good enough whatsoever.

Provided, though, that the Hoops can get one or two players back for St Stephen’s Day, there ought to be more than enough for Celtic to overcome a poor St Johnstone side.

Since our last encounter, in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final, they’ve conceded an average of 2 goals a game.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And, in the same timespan, have scored just twice.

Last night there were no excuses, and our next fixture will be the exact same.

St Johnstone will defend for their lives, even if they’ve been far from brilliant. Celtic will need to find ways to execute, something they didn’t do against St Mirren, and quickly. It’ll be an intense couple of days for the Bhoys and Ange Postecoglou to correct course.

The fixture list has been kind to us, and with the right words and instructions, we can finish the year off in some style.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou addresses whether injured Celtic stars will return vs St Johnstone