How Celtic can dismantle St Johnstone in Perth

Celtic will be looking to return to winning ways this afternoon after two games without a win in all competitions when they make the trip to McDiarmid Park to face Craig Levein’s St Johnstone this afternoon.

After dropping points against Motherwell at Celtic Park last weekend in what was a lacklustre and lifeless performance, the lack of momentum built up from that fixture contributed to Celtic’s Champions League exit at the hands of Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico midweek.

Celtic’s domestic stumble luckily went unpunished with Rangers failing to capitalise on the dropped points at Pittodrie, ensuring that Celtic maintain their lead at the top of the table.

St Johnstone had a torrid start to the season which began with the exit from the Viaplay Cup in the group stages following defeats to Stirling Albion and Stenhousemuir.

Celtic weren’t able to capitalise on the Saints’ shocking start to the season when the sides met at Celtic Park earlier this season. Given that the home scoreless draw with the Saints directly followed the Viaplay Cup exit at the hands of Kilmarnock, the alarm bells began to ring in supporters’ minds but all of that panic was settled after Celtic secured a victory in the derby at Ibrox.

Celtic now find themselves off the back of two games without a win for the second time this season, and St Johnstone will be eager to extend that winless sequence as they look to continue their climb up the table under new gaffer Craig Levein.


The former Hearts and Scotland manager was brought in after former boss Steven MacLean was given his marching orders and he has been using his managerial experience to haul St Johnstone off the foot of the Scottish Premiership.

Levein spent a brief spell in an advisory role at Brechin City in the Highland League before being appointed in early November and, since that moment, the Saints have seen a draw at home to Motherwell, a win at home to Ross County and then a loss away to Hearts on Levein’s return to Tynecastle.

That four points combined with Livingston’s slide over the last few months has seen St Johnstone finally make their way off of the foot of the table. With tough, snowy conditions, if Celtic don’t approach the game with a fast start then it could lead to an incredibly nervy encounter in Perth.

Celtic will be expecting some top performances this afternoon, but one thing the club still needs to figure out is how to get Kyogo Furuhashi more involved in the game.

Kyogo has just one goal in his previous eight games in all competitions with the Japanese forward having been starved of service over the last few weeks. If Celtic can get him more involved in the game and get him on the ball as much as possible then it will serve the team well not only this afternoon but for the rest of the season as well.


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