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Next up - Celtic
Published : 28 Sep 2012 08:29:21
Nothing but a win against Celtic on Saturday will guarantee that Motherwell stay top of the league as we move into October. Given our poor midweek form can we rise to the task?
Messrs McCall and Black have much to do if they are to lift a Motherwell squad that must still be reeling at the memory of a two goal lead disappearing at Pittodrie before the crumbling at Ibrox. The talk will have to be of the nine goals they scored in the three league games earlier this month and the confidence that they should have in their strengths.
All that assumes, of course, that they have had a lesson or two in defending, set pieces in particular. A video analysis of the slack marking in the last two games would not make for pretty viewing.
It may be time for a change or two in our starting eleven. The early season promise has given the manager a few options lately and it could be time to return to a tried and tested formula. Many fans reckon that Hateley is a far better at right back than in midfield and there are also calls for Ramsden to return to the back four. Although Hutchinson completed the game on Wednesday the gash to his head will cause concern and he may be a doubt.
None of the forward going players can take comfort from their showing in midweek and no doubt the usual coin toss will help to choose between Murphy and Ojamaa. Daley might be preferred to Humphrey but, in truth, the personnel in the starting eleven will matter less that the attitude that they bring to the game.
Celtic are hopeful that Samaras will feature in Saturday's after a few weeks out with a dislocated shoulder. They may view our game primarily as a warm up to their trip to Moscow on Tuesday. However, even without the Greek they will have plenty of players who can cause problems. Commons and Hooper have started to hit the net and we'll have to be at our best to keep them out.
Celtic have lost away from home already this season and are, unsurprisingly, odds on to win this one. It's hard to disagree and it could be that a decent showing is all we can hope for in a 2-0 defeat.
Remember the last time Celtic were at Fir Park?