What new Celtic signing has been told to expect from Hearts at Tynecastle

By Euan Davidson

January 26, 2022

New Celtic signing Matt O’Riley seems likely to make his debut tonight, and it’ll be a testy affair with Hearts the hosts at Tynecastle tonight.

Games between Celtic and Hearts can be combustible at the best of times. This season, however, things seem to have ramped up a notch. Between the hilarious arguments about re-playing fixtures to ticket allocation drama, it’s been a tempestuous relationship between Celtic and Hearts this season.

The Hoops have had the better of Robbie Neilson’s side 2 out of 3 times this season. However, our last trip to Tynecastle, on opening day, was a loss for Ange Postecoglou and his side. It’s a very different team Ange has now, though, and it includes former England youth international, Matt O’Riley.

Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

He’s been told what to expect tonight, but he appears to be embracing it. O’Riley said [Herald]: “I have been told that already [that the game will be hectic].

“I’ve been told to be ready for a hostile atmosphere as well. But that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to experience something new and hopefully I can really make the most of it. It’s important to be adaptable to any kind of game you play. And while, on the whole, I wouldn’t say I’m hectic in the way I play I am going to have to adapt to it.

“We can try to stamp our style in the game to try to make it less hectic and manic, but I have to be ready for whatever comes my way.”

Ange delivers transfer update as Celtic target Tynecastle revenge | Hearts vs Celtic Preview

Ange delivers transfer update as Celtic target Tynecastle revenge | Hearts vs Celtic Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“Hectic” is certainly a word for Celtic v Hearts encounters

No question, Hearts will be up for this one. They’ve adapted a particular mentality, one of a constantly aggrieved party who are equal to Celtic.

Of course, it’s misguided, but the Jambos have had a good season. They sit third, having led the Premiership for a considerable period at the start of the season. Granted they’ve fallen away since, but Neilson has them consistently winning matches and aiming for European football.

At Tynecastle, in what’ll be a typically dogged affair, Hearts will be looking to dent Celtic title hopes. For the Celtic players, it’s about not getting wound up by what Hearts do, or how their supporters affect the game. Cool heads are required, here.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

While Celtic are missing key players, there’s surely more than enough quality to see off Hearts tonight. Seeing O’Riley for the first time will be exciting, especially next to Reo Hatate, who was formidable against the Jambos’ city rivals, Hibernian.

It’s unlikely to be the most aesthetically pleasing game. It’ll be a bit of war.

But Matt O’Riley is ready. And if he is, having just signed, the rest of the squad must know what the objective is tonight, too.

Read more: Celtic and Hearts set to team up for brilliant mental health cause at Tynecastle