Celtic will face Hibernian at Celtic Park tonight looking to at the very least preserve their six-point gap at the top.
Eddie May’s men will come to Parkhead knowing how difficult a challenge it will be. But if he needs any evidence for some optimism, Celtic’s lengthy injury list will do the trick.
Yesterday, we listed the walking wounded for Celtic. Out of 14 potentially injured players, only three are doubtful with one likely available in Ryan Christie. That means potentially 10 players out for tonight’s visit of Hibs at least.
This isn’t a new issue for the Hoops either. They’ve been missing the likes of Eboue Kouassi, Daniel Arzani, Leigh Griffiths, Tom Rogic, Kieran Tierney, and Olivier Ntcham for weeks now.
Around October/November time is the last period in which Celtic had a squad full of depth. For weeks, the Hoops have been depleted, and they go into tonight’s clash in similarly wounded fashion.
That’s one of the main reasons why winning eight-in-a-row this season would be one of Celtic’s best title-wins yet.
Winning the league isn’t as easy as Celtic make it look
Securing the Scottish Premiership hasn’t been getting the appreciation it deserves in recent years. It’s almost as if many have forgotten just how difficult this competition is to win.
But, this season, and against a rejuvenated Rangers (sorry but it is), a strongly depleted Celtic side have been keeping them at arms’ length. That’s despite the fact Rangers brought in a household name in Steven Gerrard, and despite the fact their confidence has been sky-high.
Nothing will match any of the last-day title wins Celtic have had in the past. The slightly older generation will remember Albert Kidd’s rescue mission back in 1986. Others will look back on the emotional title win of 2007/08, when Celtic came from six points behind having played two games more.
Winning the league this year wouldn’t come close to those successes. Nor can it be up there with the absolutely historical invincible treble campaign under Brendan Rodgers.
But, if Celtic can see off the several challengers vying for their spot with over a full team out through injuries for large spells, it deserves massive credit.
Tonight will be just another step towards that against Hibernian. Another three points, and the games will be whittling down as Celtic close in on more history.