Celtic can get cup derby won in first 20 minutes if trends continue

By John Reid

December 7, 2019

As all Celtic fans are no doubt aware, the Hoops are on a spectacular run of form at the moment. They have won their last 11 games in all competitions. In that run, the Hoops have scored 36 goals, a fine record.

Perhaps more interestingly, the Hoops have scored in the opening 20 minutes in seven of those games, including the last four league games on the spin. That shows that Neil Lennon is eager for his side to get on the front foot in all competitions that the Hoops play in, and try to get games won early on.

That brings us onto Sunday’s Betfred Cup Final against Rangers. Intriguingly enough, as shown by soccerbase, in the last seven cup meetings between Celtic and their Glasgow rivals have been won by the team scoring the first goal.

Early goal could set Hoops on road to victory

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

You have to go back to a 2-2 Scottish Cup draw in February 2011 for the last time it didn’t happen. The trends seem to point towards one thing – an early Celtic goal at Hampden that will set the Hoops on the road to victory.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

Of course, football doesn’t always go as predicted. There could be a red card, or an early penalty to influence proceedings. However, it will be interesting to know if Neil Lennon is aware of these trends, especially about the first goal winning the Cup meetings.

Manager to go all out attack?

(Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That may influence Lennon when it comes to how he sets up for the final. He has seen Celtic score in the first 20 minutes regularly recently. That could mean that unlike the last derby where the Hoops were more cautious, the Hoops go all out for the early goal.

That is what they should do. They are the form team in the country after all. They should prove that by scoring the first goal early on, which could set the Hoops on course for Betfred Cup glory.