Three things we learned as Celtic go 16 points clear in the Premiership

By John Reid

March 7, 2020

Celtic’s dominant Premiership form shows no signs of stopping any time soon following the Hoops’ emphatic 5-0 win over St Mirren on Saturday afternoon.

There is no doubt about who was the star man of the game – Leigh Griffiths. He scored a hat-trick to show that he is almost back to his best, a situation that few would have expected when his time at the club looked to be up following a poor first-half of the season.

Still, all the credit must go to Griffiths and Lennon for combining to help rescue the player’s Celtic career.

Here are three things we learned as Celtic moved 16 points clear at the top of the table:

Return of Elhamed provides welcome dilemma

One aspect of the game that deserves to be remarked upon is the return to Hatem Abd Elhamed to the first-team. The Hoops centre-back/right-back made his first appearance for the side since November as a late substitute, after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Celtic defender Hatem Abd Elhamed / (Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The return of Elhamed gives Neil Lennon a most welcome dilemma. When he is on his game, he is one of the best defenders at the club, and was a first-choice when fit.

He now comes into contention for the game against Rangers, you would imagine, and it will be interesting to see if he makes the starting line-up. It is a good problem for the manager to have.

Deadly duo can’t be broken up any time soon

The strike duo of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths might not have started for the Hoops against Livingston in midweek. However, Neil Lennon learned from that mistake against St Mirren.

The pair combined for four goals in the game, with Griffiths helping himself to a hat-trick. The performance of the duo must make up Neil Lennon’s mind going forward, that the pair should be selected as a partnership for the foreseeable future.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates his hat-trick (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Edouard and Griffiths could have a field day at Ibrox next Sunday, and when the team is named for the Glasgow derby the duo should be starting. They have the qualities needed to earn the Hoops the three points that would all but clinch the title.

Hoops boss shows who his first-choice left-sided player is

Greg Taylor might have struggled for Celtic recently. However, there seems no doubt that Neil Lennon is firm in his belief that Taylor is the number one left-sided player at the club.

He didn’t have the best of games against either St Johnstone or Livingston recently, but the Hoops manager seems to have faith in the left-back.

Greg Taylor in action against St Mirren (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see if Taylor starts against Rangers next Sunday, that will be his biggest test yet as a Celtic player if he makes his first appearance at Ibrox. Judging by his recent team selections though, Lennon seems confident that Taylor will be able to cope with the game.

Should Elhamed start at Ibrox? Surely Edouard and Griffiths will play together? Share your thoughts below in our new discussion forum…