Celtic may already have played some massive games so far this season but few will have whet the appetite of supporters more than Saturday’s clash against Hibernian.
It’s only a semi-final, yeah. And it’s against a lowly side who have drawn their last five matches. So why would fans be so excited? Quite simply, the kick-off time.
For a support that are routinely sent up to the Highlands for Sunday noon kick-offs and have to play their big derbies at the same time, having a game at prime time on a Saturday is just marvellous.
We can criticise the SPFL all we want over kick-off times. Usually we’re vindicated. But on this one occasion they deserve a pat on the back. 5:30pm on a Saturday evening is bang on the money.
Lennon wasn’t quite as fond of Celtic vs Hibernian kick-off
Neil Lennon didn’t feel exactly the same when he was asked about it in late September. The Celtic gaffer’s verdict was “awkward”. But then again, his duty of care is the team and not the supporters. Directly at least.
🗣️ NL on semi-final: "It’s a bit of an awkward time for a kick-off but it will take a little bit of adjustment, that’s all. A different routine pre-match but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and we’ll be prepared." #HIBCEL
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 27, 2019
Once the Celtic players sort that “little bit of adjustment” they will enter a Hampden stadium packed full of adoring supporters. Hibernian’s reduced take-up of tickets means that there are likely to be around 35,000 Celtic fans at the National Stadium – and that’s a pretty mega support.
Many fans will make a day of it, stopping at numerous alcoholic destinations on their way to Mount Florida. Presuming everyone behaves themselves well it promises to be one of the most memorable Celtic occasions in the last couple of years.