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Discussion Starter #1



Behind Enemy Lines

The Date (with destiny?): 15/02/09
The Venue: Parkhead, Glasgow
The Kick-off: 12:30 GMT


It's Old Firm time again.

We're at a crucial point in a strange season, and we mustn't lose this game if we are to continue our title push. It's certainly not over if they win it, but 5 points will be difficult to overcome and you get the feeling that if Celtic were to then come away with a point from the last encounter, that would be enough to send them on their way to 4-in-a-row.

Therefore I think we will set up in our 4-5-1 style for this one, and the talk of the town is that Lee McCulloch will play in the holding role, replacing Kris Boyd. We'll just have to wait and see on that, but I do think it would be a good move given that Celtic's midfielders enjoy ragdolling us when Thomson isn't playing.

I'd go with McGregor in the nets; Papac, Bougherra, Weir, Broadfoot; McCulloch, Pedro Mendes, Ferguson (grudgingly), Fleck, Davis; Miller up front on his own.

Prediction from me is a 0-0 with both teams struggling to score goals at the moment.
 

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As you said Walter will start with a 4-5-1. It would be a real shock if he didn't. This in itself should make for a game much like the one at Pittodrie and finish either level or won by the single goal.

I don't mind him using that formation here as a point would be a good one and keep things close. I do mind the use of McCulloch though. He's been striker, left midfield and this season even centre half. Crap and a liability in all of them. Against Aberdeen he kept giving away free kicks around the box and if he does that tomorrow we will be made to pay the price. I'd rather see Edu to be honest but this is probably a game too soon for him and of course Thomson would have been perfect.

Given Ferguson's contribution in midfield we need another body in their but its just a pity we don't have someone who fits the bill in that oversized squad. If Hemdani had not been frozen out he could have played there but it says alot that Smith would rather play his own overpriced donkey there and when it comes down to it would probably play Dailly there before Hemdani.

I can't see a place for Boyd either and to be honest he doesn't deserve it. He's always shouting for his chance in the big games and when he gets it he is abysmal. It will no doubt be the headless chicken so I doubt we will score unless it is from a set piece.

The biggest loss is without a doubt Novo. He would have been our best chance off the bench at either scoring or creating something in open play.
 

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The team is the one rumoured during the week:

-----------------McGregor

Broadfoot---Bougherra-----Weir-----Papac

-----------------McCulloch

Davis------Mendes------Ferguson------Fleck

------------------Lafferty

Nakamura starts for Celtic which I was dreading with McCulloch likely to give away free kicks and saying in the papers yesterday that he was going to get stuck in. Lafferty is on a hiding to nothing up there on his own. He'll win his fair share of headers but who's going to win the second ball? He's no Cousin so I doubt he'll dent the Celtic back line.

I expect Rangers to stay the same for 90 minutes. If Celtic score however then Smith will change to 4-4-2 with about 10 minutes to go. An interesting game ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why is Boyd on the bench :googly:
Boyd's stats vs Celtic:

Played 17
Scored 1

And Miller for that matter...?
Miller would usually be up front on his own in a 4-5-1 but the manager preferred Lafferty this time. Plus Miller has been struggling for form recently.

Big Kyle did well enough to merit his selection, I thought he played really well in his proper position.

The game was a bit of a damp squib but I suspect Walter will be quite happy with the draw. Only time will tell whether that was a good strategy or a foolish one.
 

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I would have taken a point in the first half but in the second I thought we would go on to win it. A draw was the only fair result in the end and neither keeper had much to do.

That little diving bassa nearly gave Celtic a goal but I'm glad he was thwarted. It amazes me how he still gets away with it.

Ferguson was again anonymous except for when he was stifling Mendes by taking the ball off him to pass it 3 yards to someone who was already marked. The sooner we are shot of him the better.

I thought Bougherra and Davis were our best players. Both put in a decent contribution but on the whole no one on either side came out looking too great.

Smith will be delighted with the point and as you said only time will tell whether it was the right decision or not. The run in till the split will be interesting now as I don't see either side winning all their remaining games. A lot of the teams now in the SPL know they can take points off of both.
 
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