Fixture Focus Required As Celts Get Back To Business

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10 games in 35 days.

That’s what Celtic face between Saturday’s clash with Motherwell and the turn of the year as they look to strengthen their grip on the Scottish Premiership title as well as remain in European football beyond Christmas.

Neither will be easy and Brendan Rodgers will have to utilise his squad accordingly if he’s to be successful on both fronts.

Injuries to Japanese duo Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda have meant others will have to step up, though it remains to be seen which of the summer signings will emerge as first picks between the likes of Yang, Luis Palma, Paulo Bernardo and Odin Thiago Holm.

A welcome bonus would be the return of Liel Abada, with reports suggesting the winger will make his comeback some time in December.

With Luis Palma, Yang and James Forrest the only viable options in the wide berths right now, the reintroduction of Abada’s quality would be a welcome boost for Rodgers.

Luis Palma's A Man On Top Form
Luis Palma’s A Man On Top Form

Of those 10 games, 8 are league fixtures – 5 home and 3 away – and with an 8 point gap at the top of the table as it stands all roads then lead to a noon showdown with Rangers on 30th December.

If Celtic can maintain the gap between now and then and pull off a victory in the final game of the calendar year then the Hoops will already have one hand on a third successive title.

Europe however is a different matter altogether.

Qualification from Group E is still possible – either to the knockout stages of the Champions League, or the Europa League – but for that to happen results elsewhere need to go our way.

To keep it simple a win in Rome against Lazio on Tuesday is required first and foremost.

If we manage to do so, then perhaps we can dare to dream as we head into that final game with Feyenoord.

Ahead of that one it’s Motherwell on league duty at Celtic Park this weekend. With the Steelmen just two points above bottom placed they’ll be scrapping for their lives following a winless run that now extends to nine games.

Could a similar scoreline to the 6-0 thrashing of Aberdeen be on the cards?

Time will tell, on all fronts.

Listen to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly on The Celtic Exchange Podcast as we discuss Celtic’s Fixture Focus, The Future of Liam Scales and The Mystery of Marco Tilio.

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