Celtic v Hibs: The Battle of the Greens

Celtic welcome Hibernian to Celtic Park this afternoon for the St. Patrick’s weekend Battle of the Greens.  The Hoops are on a 17-game unbeaten run against Hibs that dates back to December 2018 when goals from Vykintas Slivka and Florian Kamberi downed Celtic on that occasion.

You need to go all the way back to 2010 for the last time Hibs won at Celtic Park.  The visitors came from behind that day with a certain Anthony Stokes the man who led the comeback.

However, the more recent history in this fixture is definitely in Celtic’s favour.  The Bhoys have wracked up a 10-1 aggregate score in the first two meetings of the sides this season and given the imperious manner with which Hearts were swept aside last week, another victory against the green side of Edinburgh looks a likely outcome.


While we, as fans, can allow ourselves to get carried away with thoughts of Trebles and tying the league up early, both Ange Postecoglou and Jota were keen to stress that the only thing that matters to the squad is today’s game and winning the three points.

“Every game is an opportunity for us to play our football and make sure that we maintain the standards and performances and improve on them, so it’s another challenge for us.” The manager said. “Hibs had been a good run of form before the last game, prior to that they’ve been seven unbeaten. They brought in some good young talent during the January window.”

As Ange alluded to, Hibs were on a good run of form prior to their last league outing 10 days ago against Rangers.  The Hibee’s were unbeaten in 7 league games which included a 6-0 thumping of Aberdeen and 4-1 win at Livingston, and Ange will be aware of the dangers Lee Johnson’s men can pose Celtic.

Jota echoed the managers sentiments adding that “We mainly focus on the next game and the next game will be against Hibs.  Of course, we know what our goals and what our objectives are for this season but we’re not there yet, so we still need to keep on winning games and keep on developing so that’s what we want to do”


Ange confirmed that Aaron Mooy and Tomoki Iwata will miss today’s game through injury as a precautionary measure with both players struggling with knocks ahead of the international break.

There was good news though with the manager also confirming the availability of Greg Taylor and Cameron Carter-Vickers – who have been omitted from their respective national team squads.  Carl Starfelt is also fit after having to be replaced at half time in last weekend’s win at Tynecastle, and Daizen Maeda will make his return to the squad having missed the last game.

Discussing the possible starting XI on yesterday’s bulletin, Lloyd Jepson suggested that he would give a start to Kobayashi in order to give Carl Starfelt a rest and fully recover from his injury.  The Japanese defender has impressed with his ability on the ball so far in his cameo appearances and league start against Hibs would provide him his sternest test yet.

With Aaron Mooy out, Brian Degning was in confident mood that bringing in a player of Matt O’Riley’s class does not weaken the team and instead highlights the depth in talent across the squad.

The only area where there seemed to be any debate over who starts came upfront with Lloyd going for a front three of Maeda – Jota – Kyogo and Brian opting for Abada over Maeda due to concerns over his fitness and belief that Abada provides a bigger attacking threat.

As always, the headache of picking the team and deciding which of his first-team ready players doesn’t make the starting line-up belongs to Ange.  And as always, we’ll trust him to get it right.


The lads also discussed my All-Ireland Celtic XI, picked from players to have represented Celtic and Ireland during my lifetime, meaning no place for club legends like Charles Patrick Tully.  Feel free to hit us up with your All-Ireland Celtic XI and join the conversation. 

Leave a Reply