Celtic's immense 2022 challenge becomes clear; odd Monday night kick-off sticks out
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic stars would be as well enjoying their rest while they can, because 2022 isn’t going to offer much respite.
The weary Hoops stars have been on leave since the 3-1 Boxing Day win over St. Johnstone.
They will return back to training in the coming days – ahead of the big restart on January 17th against Hibernian.
Celtic will then face Alloa five days later, a fixture that will begin a run of 12 matches in six weeks. 13 if we overcome the League 1 side.
There will be no further breaks until mid-March, when the next international break swings around.
It’s a relentless, punishing schedule that will see the Hoops travel to Tynencastle, Fir Park, Pittodrie and Easter Road, host Rangers and face Norwegian champions Bodo/Glimt twice.
It’s fair to say we’ll have a much better idea of how the season will pan out after those games.
Early 2022 Celtic Park fixture looks odd
Most of the Hoops’ early 2022 fixtures are scheduled for traditional timeslots. But there is one exception.
The first fixture at home to Hibs will arrive on a Monday evening, in identical fashion to our first game after the break last season.
The Hoops and Hibees will face each other 24 hours before the rest of the league makes their return and, while there are bigger concerns to get worked up about, it does seem strange that the SPFL have us back earlier than the rest.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for the match being played a day earlier.
The game won’t be televised (SPFL). The reverse fixtures saw Celtic travel to Easter Road on the same night the rest of the league played, so no issue with policing either.
The game sticks out a bit, and gives Ange’s injured players one less day to get back up to speed.
Time will tell whether that turns out to be relevant or not.
At least victory will allow us to close the gap at the top, and put the pressure on to Rangers who travel to Aberdeen the next day.
It’s all gonna heat up very quickly in 2022.