Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has confirmed that he plans to attack Celtic tonight at Fir Park, claiming his team doesn’t know how to play any other way.
The Steelmen gave it a go on our last trip to North Lanarkshire back in August. Celtic ran out 5-2 winners, but Liam Donnelly’s brace showed that Motherwell weren’t afraid to attack us. In fact, they ended that match with a total of 12 shots, just five less than Celtic managed (BBC).
Frequently this season Celtic have had to worry about trying to break down the opposition. That was the story of the game at venues such as Ross County, St Mirren, and Hamilton respectively.
However, Robinson has told Motherwell’s official website that there won’t be any buses parked tonight.
“It’s a good challenge. We’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. We’ll go in with our approach that we always do at home where we try and take the game to Celtic.
“Listen, no one’s invincible. They’re a very good side and we’ve total respect for them. But not fear. We know that on our day, we can give Celtic a game. We have to go and try and take the game to them.
“I think teams enjoy playing against us because we don’t sit in. We do try and go and press and we do try and take our game to them, especially at home. So it will be an open game. I think that’s how we have to play. We can’t play any other way.”
Celtic must tighten up to avoid Motherwell’s key threats
Motherwell’s Chris Long is mainly a threat with his physique and aerial ability. Therefore, Motherwell will look to exploit the flanks and use the likes of Jermain Hylton and Christian Ilic to feed balls in for him.
This could be a danger should we play with our 3-5-2 system. Hamilton and Ross County both created big chances from cross-balls in recent weeks. St Johnstone, to a lesser extent, also got their best moments of their game against us out in the wide areas.
The wing-backs for Celtic are going to have to be watchful of Motherwell on the counter. We can’t be as slow in tracking back as we have been in recent matches. This, in reality, is the main danger of playing with the 3-5-2.
However, Celtic’s attacking players will be delighted with this claim from the Motherwell manager. The likes of Allan Campbell, Liam Donnelly, and Liam Polworth all like to join attacking forays. All it could take is a couple of sharp passes to get Celtic away on counter-attacks.
There is bound to be space for the likes of James Forrest, Ryan Christie, and Odsonne Edouard to run into. Even if Motherwell do trouble us at the back, it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll create a bunch of sitters of our own. Or at least we should do if we’re on our game.
This doesn’t look like being the same as other away games we’ve had since we returned from the winter break. Motherwell are going to give this a go, and it’ll hopefully play into our hands when they do.