The wingers Celtic will rely on to carve Motherwell open

Celtic get set to return to domestic action this weekend as they welcome the visit of Motherwell to Parkhead this afternoon.

The club had 14 players on international duty over the break, with the likes of Luis Palma and Callum McGregor turning in some top performances.

Matt O’Riley earned his first cap for the Danish international side against Northern Ireland, whilst Mikey Johnston turned in a player-of-the-match performance against New Zealand as he looks to reignite his Celtic career before Brendan Rodgers ships him out in January.

Stuart Kettlewell’s side haven’t been in the greatest of form lately, having failed to win in all competitions since way back in early September where they grabbed all three points from Hearts at Tynecastle.

They had made a positive start to the campaign, winning three out their first four league fixtures and continuing on the good run of form that Stuart Kettlewell had guided them towards at the tail-end of last season.

The big loss in the summer for Motherwell was the departure of Kevin van Veen as he moved to Groningen in the Dutch second-tier, but that move looks like it may be coming to an early end with van Veen falling out with the higher-ups at the club and now being linked with a January move to Celtic, Rangers and a potential shock return to Fir Park as long as the money is right.


The two sides faced off earlier in the season in a dramatic late-show at Fir Park back on 30th September. Celtic had been huffing and puffing for 87 minutes but to no avail until Luis Palma came on from the bench and curled in an effort from long-range to put the Hoops ahead.

The relief was evident in the away end, however, disaster struck as Blair Spittal fired the Steelmen level in the 95th minute, sparking a pitch invasion from the home fans as they looked to have secured a massive point against the champions.

That vital point wouldn’t materialise as Matt O’Riley popped up at the back post in the 97th minute to ensure Celtic left North Lanarkshire with all three points, sparking another pitch invasion but this time from the away end.

There are plenty of games over the course of a season that fans will look back on as massive moments, and that win at Fir Park is looking like one of those moments.

In their final fixture before the international break, Motherwell lost at home to Hearts with a Lawrence Shankland double cancelling out Callum Slattery’s late goal.

Arsenal loanee Mika Biereth looks to be the player to watch for the Steelmen with the young Dane causing havoc whenever he is on the park, having four goals and two assists in his six league appearances.

Celtic will be expecting big performances from wingers Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun who both had starring roles in the 6-0 win over Aberdeen prior to the international break. With the must-win Champions League trip to Rome on the horizon, this match could provide the final opportunity for some of the players on the club’s fringes to secure a place in the squad for that game.


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