Celtic v Glasgow City: Scottish Cup semi final preview

It’s Scottish Cup semi final day for the Women’s team as Celtic take on Glasgow City in a repeat of last weekend’s league encounter.  Celtic inflicted a first domestic defeat of the season on City last Sunday at Petershill Park to reignite their title aspirations.  A similar outcome today would move Fran Alonso’s Ghirls a step closer to retaining the Cup won last May.

A spirited and committed performance last weekend saw the Ghirls break City’s resolve as Celtic ran out 4-2 winners in a must-win match.  Goals from Natalie Ross, Natasha Flint (2), and the Ghirl for the big occasions Caitlin Hayes saw Celtic get the better of their city rivals for the first time this season following two previous narrow defeats.

The Ghirls maintained that momentum boost in midweek, dispatching of Hearts comfortably 6-0 at the Oriam.  With City going down to a late defeat against Rangers, Celtic are now just two points behind City in the title race, and go into today’s game full of confidence.

Clark confident of success

Captain Kelly Clark, who recently celebrated her 250th appearance in the Hoops told CelticTV “We deserve this occasion on Sunday, and we will do everything we can to get a result, and give ourselves another occasion here (at Hampden) for the final.”

Despite confidence being high, Celtic are fully aware of the threat that Glasgow City offer.  Unbeaten until last Sunday, City has now lost two in quick succession and come into today’s semi-final a wounded animal, looking to get their season back on track.

With a squad boasting the talents of Priscilla Chinchilla, Hailey Lauder, and Lauren Davidson, Clark and the Celtic defence will have their work cut out if they are to progress to the final.  However, having conceded just 7 goals in 26 games this season, and scoring 103 at the other end, Celtic can rightly feel a degree of confidence in their own ability to win this fixture.

When speaking with CelticTV, Fran Alonso also spoke of the challenge ahead and belief that no matter what is put in front of his team, they can emerge victorious: “We love a challenge, and when we have got this mental strength, belief and togetherness I think that we can achieve anything.”

City out for revenge

Last Sunday’s win at Petershill Park was Celtic’s first at that venue.  They are no stranger to winning at Hampden and have lifted this season hex against City, freeing the Ghirls to focus fully on the game and task at hand.

As with last week, the defence, marshalled by Tajonar in goals, will need to be strong and provide that solid base from which attacks can be built.  The speed and trickery of Jacynta up front posed City problems last time and the Australian has it within her to be a game changer at this level.

Celtic will need to bring their A game again today, just as they have in recent weeks.  A hard fought match is expected, and with any luck a place in the final will be waiting for Kelly and the Ghirls come full time.

Today’s game kicks off at 12.30pm

ACSOM are proud patrons of the women’s team, and wish them all the best on Sunday as they continue their pursuit of a history making season. 

Kevin McCluskie

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