Tough task this weekend as Foran takes his side down to the Bhoys Zone, Parkhead, to face domestically dominant Celtic, still the only side to take a point off Brendan Rodgers' side. I'm sure that's a statistic not lost on the Celtic manager, and he will be out to make sure they don't slip up this time.
Last midweek game was away to Motherwell and we surprised many by coming away with our first clean sheet and a 3-0 win. Goals from Carl Tremarco, Lonsana Doumbouya and Liam Polworth made the difference as we strolled through the second half. We followed up our tremendous result at Fir Park with a 3-3 thriller against Hearts in the Highlands. We suffered a few setbacks before and during the game, but we still managed to get a point. Cammy Mackay replaced Welsh international Owain Fon Williams prior to kick off. Ten minutes into the game and Carl Tremarco was next to leave the park feeling his hamstring. His replacement was not too shabby though, and David Raven finished a brilliant team move to add to the drama. Great to see Lonsana Doumbouya continue his scoring run with his third goal in as many games, he seems to be growing into the role and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. He has been called into the Guinea national squad. Another plus was Aaron Doran scoring his first goal since returning from serious injury. All things considered, a decent point against a side that spanked us 5-1 a few weeks ago.
Celtic came North a week and a half ago and burst Ross County 4-0. That score flattered them somewhat with County unfortunate not to score and as the game wore on Celtic bagged three late goals to give them a win they scarcely merited. They went to Pittodrie at the weekend and came away with a narrow 1-0 victory to keep them firmly on track to retain the Premiership title, thanks to a superb Tom Rogic improvised strike. The goals are still coming from Dembele and Sinclair, both subs against County, and as they showed in Dingwall, not a bad pair to have sitting around waiting for a game. Patrick Roberts and Stuart Armstrong started at the Global Energy Stadium and they notched the first two goals. With players of that standard uncertain of a start, it's a daunting task for the rest of the league.
It's not a game many Caley Jags fans relish with expectation not high given Celtic's monetary dominance in the Scottish game and restricted viewing arrangements for visiting fans. Celtic fans bemoan the difference when they play the likes of Barcelona in European games. Welcome to our world! It's heartbreaking watching the likes of Ryan Christie warming the bench at Celtic when he could have had his pick of any other club in Scotland and regular football to boot. In fact, he sometimes can't even get on the bench. What a waste of fine Scottish talent. Mind you, I don't suppose his wallet is complaining£££
As usual, I would expect Richie Foran to set his stall out to give little away and hit on the break. That's standard practice for most clubs at Parkhead, but it's a dangerous game to play when Celtic are in the mood and can and has led to some doings in Glasgow. It's all very well saying why give them too much respect, but in all honesty there's little other option. It will be a stern test for not only the team, but of Foran's ability to absorb the pressure and hype surrounding a game at Parkhead.
Celtic had the minor irritation of a Champions League game to contend with on Tuesday night in Germany. The played Borussia Mönchengladbach in the return leg after losing the first encounter 0-2 in Glasgow. That could mean that Brendan Rodgers might tinker with his squad for our visit although the size and wealth of talent available to him should be sufficient to take care of domestic games. Maybe Ryan will get a rare run out against his old buddies. That game ended with Celtic gaining a credible 1-1 draw in Germany with Moussa Dembele stroking home a penalty with the confidence and calmness of a veteran.
One or two concerns for Richie Foran coming in to this game. Carl Tremarco looks as though he will miss out as the club investigate his hamstring injury. Better news for Larnell Cole and Alex Fisher who are both back in contention although Fisher is touch and go and, it might be a game too early for match saver Fisher who scored that late equaliser last time the sides met. Aaron Doran looks like missing this game out, but Billy King is eligible once more. Things are looking up in the goal keeping stakes with Owain Fon Williams set to return having missed last weeks game with back spasms during the warm-up. Ryan Esson has returned to full training as well, and Cammy Mackay will have learnt from his enforced appearance against Hearts.
Bad news for Scotland and Celtic supporters is that Kieran Tierney will be out for a couple of months with ankle ligament damage picked up in training. Nineteen year old Tierney has been in sensational form for Celtic and will be a big miss. I suppose they will just have to use some international reserve, in this case, Honduran Emilio Izaguirre. Leigh Griffiths and Jozo Suminovic will return but Kolo Toure is out.
tm4tj prediction:- I suppose as it's on the 5th November, we should be expecting some fireworks from Celtic. It's a tough game this one, probably the most difficult on the calendar, but usually the easiest to predict. It depends who Brendan believes will be sufficient to dismiss us whilst his team leave the rest behind. We have shown some tremendous resilience this season after a slow start and Celtic will need to be aware of this, however, they should have enough strength in depth to be able to win the points. In Liam Polworth, we have a lad that can set off a few rockets of his own and he has already scored a couple of bangers. We can always hope. Let the fireworks begin.