Can Olivier Ntcham be Celtic's derby match-winner?

By John Reid

December 28, 2019

It is interesting to note how Olivier Ntcham seems to have become almost a first pick for Celtic in recent weeks. When you compare it how sparingly he has been used at times this season, it has to come as a bit of a surprise.

For example, in the two games against Rangers this season, he has played for less than 30 minutes. However, it should be pointed out that he was excellent in that cameo role, in the 2-0 win at Ibrox in September.

Helped Hoops control the middle of the park

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He helped the Hoops dominate the middle of the park and end any chance Rangers had of gaining a foot hold in the game. Ntcham also played a key role in Celtic’s second goal, which was scored by Jonny Hayes.

Now it seems likely that Ntcham is going to make his first derby start of the season against the Ibrox side on Sunday. The move is undeniably a risky one by Neil Lennon, as he is probably going to select Ntcham in the attacking midfield role which has been Ryan Christie’s for the majority of the season.

Postecoglou hints at big week of Celtic announcements

However, Ntcham can repay the manager’s faith in him with a match-winning performance against the Ibrox side.

Can dominate game if in good form

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

It will be intriguing to find out if Ntcham can dominate the middle of the park and become Celtic’s match-winner. He is capable of doing so, and in the recent game against St Mirren seemed to spend a lot of time having efforts on goal, a few of which were unfortunate not to find the back of the net.

It has been a year to remember for Ntcham at Celtic. His winning goal against Lazio will go down in Hoops history, as it secured a first ever win in Italy. Now he has the chance to end the year in style, by driving the team on to Glasgow derby glory.