- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
While Celtic and Brendan Rodgers prepare this weekend for a Scottish Cup 5th round game against Partick Thistle, they could be forgiven for looking ahead of the next few days, as they face Zenit St. Petersburg. But they will not have it easy against the Jags who have run Celtic close in the league a few times and will be happy to have a few days off from the relegation dogfight they are in.
Last time out, Celtic lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock, a team in a fairly similar position to Partick Thistle, and Celtic finished the game with two defenders limping off the field. The defensive injuries are starting to mount up for the Hoops, although they will be able to recall Jozo Simunovic, who was rested against Kilmarnock due to the artificial surface used at Kilmarnock.
With January signing Marvin Compper not ready to make his debut and injuries to Derek Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer, Simunovic will likely be paired in defence with new signing Jack Hendry. Charly Musonda started the Kilmarnock game while Scott Sinclair was a substitute so it is likely that there will not be too much change in the forward positions as Patrick Roberts and Stuart Armstrong work their way back to full fitness.
Brendan Rogers may also have Thursday in mind when he picks his XI and so we could see a few less than familiar faces in the Celtic squad. Rodgers has always been good at promoting youth products and the Scottish Cup could be a good opportunity to freshen the squad up with the matches against Zenit St. Petersburg to come.
Celtic’s opponents in this game, Partick Thistle have just come off a 2-0 defeat to Rangers, and after facing the Hoops in the league only last month, they come up against Celtic once again. The previous game against Celtic was a very close one, with former Wigan and Derby striker Conor Sammon giving the Jags the lead only for Scott Sinclair and super-sub Leigh Griffiths to turn things around for the league leaders. Sammon will be a constant physical threat for Thistle and the Celtic defence will have to be on their toes to deal with the veteran attacker.
Brendan Rodgers will be looking to progress to the next round of the cup with minimal fuss. They need to get back to winning ways to create the momentum, going into the game against Zenit, but he will be very much aware that they shouldn’t risk too much against Partick. The focus for the team should be on the Thursday night game at Celtic Park.
Predicted score: Celtic 3-1 Partick Thistle