Scotland heartbreaker Patrik Schick on inspired form ahead of Celtic visit

By Euan Davidson

September 25, 2021

Celtic may have some business to attend to before Bayer Leverkusen arrive, but there’s a danger looming in the form of Patrik Schick.

The Euro 2020 joint-top goal scorer [UEFA], alongside Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, has been on inspired form. Bayer Leverkusen have a number of dangerous players. But Schick has led the way, with 4 goals to his name in 5 games.

With Mainz next up for Gerardo Seoane’s side today, Leverkusen will be better-rested for the Europa League bout on Thursday night. Celtic will be hoping to recover from a loss against Real Betis on the opening day. Still, there’s plenty of encouragement from the club’s home form.

If Postecoglou and co have designs on beating the Bundesliga side, though, it’s Schick who will need to a huge focus for the Bhoys.

Perhaps remembered best on these shores for a ludicrous shot against Scotland, Schick’s looping effort over David Marshall remains one of Euro 2020’s iconic goals.

And he’s kept that red-hot form going. So far this season, the Czech goal-getter has hit against Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart, Augsburg and former Europa foes Borussia Monchengladbach [Transfermarkt].

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Key to Seoane’s attacking philosophy, Schick is more than capable of winning the ball from the front. Per Bundesliga:

“[Schick] had 14 tackle challenges in the last match. Of these, Patrik Schick was able to win six.”

He also covered 5.2km for his side against Stuttgart. Seoane said of his star man this summer [Bundesliga]:

“It’s fun to watch the magnificent performances that Patrik Schick is putting in.

“He’s a top striker and a fantastic finisher.”

Celtic scouts will be hoping for a quiet day from Patrik Schick of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga

Are Leverkusen the biggest test to the Celtic defence so far this season?

To my mind, 100%.

Because Patrik Schick isn’t playing out there by himself. Florian Wirtz has had another impressive campaign, with German legend Rudi Völler comparing the youngster to ex-Bayer star Kai Havertz [Bundesliga News].

That’s going forward. In defence, Leverkusen have looked more suspect. If we’re going to concede goals, it’s important that Celtic try to outscore the Bundesliga giants. Obviously.

In their 5 league games so far, they’ve only kept a solitary clean sheet. They shipped 4 goals to Borussia Dortmund, while also conceding against Union Berlin, Stuttgart and Augsburg.

Photo by Petr Josek – Pool/Getty Images

In the Europa League, they trailed to Ferencvaros before Exeqiuel Palacios levelled just before half-time.

So, yes, they have the fire-power. And Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is going to have to keep Schick and company quiet to have any chance of winning. But they’re also a side that can be got at.

That is, provided the Czech striker doesn’t lob Joe Hart from the half-way line. You’ve got to assume the former England keeper has been watching clips.

Read more: No crystal ball for Celtic boss Postecoglou as he makes league agenda clear