Celtic fans will not have enjoyed the unscheduled break in football for the past three weeks. Weeks of frustration has been brewing in Glasgow as their cross town neighbors, Rangers, sit three points clear atop the league with the weather preventing Celtic from doing anything but stave off the glowering of their rivals.
This Saturday Celtic fans will be hoping to use that frustration to their benefit as they return to action against Hamilton. Hamilton are the proverbial lambs to the slaughter as Celtic fans, and presumably the players, will be anxious to get three points under their collective belts to put pressure on Rangers. This will be seen as the perfect fixture for the club as Hamilton has not won a
league game since October and has only won once since August.
Hamilton have the perfect recipe for disaster as they have scored the least amount of goals in the league this season, 11, while conceding the second highest in the league, 29. The Accies have a long way to go if they are to avoid relegation this season as they currently are one place off the bottom relying on their goal difference to keep them out of the relegation zone.
In a sense the break may have come at a good time as Celtic had only won 2 of their previous 5 fixtures in the league before the weather-enforced break. Gary Hooper was one of the few bright lights during that 5 game stretch as he scored 5 goals including a hat-trick against Aberdeen in a 9-0 victory. Celtic will look to Hooper to have a big game against the frail defense of Hamilton.
This is also the type of game that might tempt manager Neil Lennon to start midfielder Paddy McCourt who has been impressive as an impact player coming off the bench this season. McCourt has scored four goals, including a crucial second against Inverness in their last game, while only starting two games this season.
Celtic need to turn their form around and it’s the perfect time to do it according to Joe Ledley, “The Christmas period is one of the most vital parts of the campaign and can make or break your season" Ledley’s comments reflect the ambition of this Celtic team as he added "If we can get a 100 per cent record over the Christmas period it would be a great achievement. So it's massive.”
In spite of the winter weather, the Celtics will be looking to come out firing hot this Saturday in Hamilton.