Who Needs to Turn in a Big Performance against Motherwell?

Celtic have been slipping away in the title race over the last few weeks, with draws against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock seeing Celtic sit behind Rangers in the cinch Premiership table for the first time this season. Performances have been underwhelming and supporters are wondering when the turning point for this Celtic team is going to arrive.

Big performances are needed this weekend as Celtic get ready to face Stuart Kettlewell’s Motherwell side. Brendan Rodgers will have plenty to ponder over with regards to his team selection, with many supporters suggesting a tactical change to spark a return to form for this Celtic team.

With a reaction needed for what is now a must-win game against the Steelmen in Lanarkshire, here are 3 players who need to turn in a big performance against Motherwell on Sunday.

Matt O’Riley
Matt O’Riley was Celtic’s most impressive performer in the first-half of the season. Solid defensively and incredibly influential going forward, he was carrying the team on his back at points, including the previous trip to Fir Park back in September where he popped up at the back post in the 97th minute to ensure that Celtic walked out of Lanarkshire with all 3 points.

However, following the turn of the year, Matt O’Riley has looked like a shadow of the player that was running the show in the midfield for the first six months of the season.

Whether it is a case of being burnt out or being distracted by the attention coming in from abroad, O’Riley’s influence on this Celtic side has faded, and a return to form for the club’s key player is needed to steer Celtic back in the right direction.

Luis Palma
Luis Palma has become the new whipping boy for the Celtic support over the last few weeks, and he hasn’t been helping himself with his performances.

He has some impressive numbers this season, but he has a tendency for grabbing a number of goals and assists in one game and then proceeding to go missing in action for the next 3 or 4 games.

His inconsistency has been reflective on the form of this Celtic side over the course of the season as a whole, and he needs to turn in a big performance this weekend at the ground where he grabbed his first-goal for the club way back in September.

Kyogo Furuhashi
On the topic of players being a shadow of their former selves, Kyogo Furuhashi doesn’t look like the same player who stormed the cinch Premiership the season prior under Ange Postecoglou, sweeping the player of the year awards as Celtic went on to win a treble.

Brendan Rodgers has made some tactical tweaks that has seen more involvement for Kyogo in the team, with the forward grabbing 2 goals in the 2 games that he has played in a deeper role behind Adam Idah.

An in-form Kyogo makes Celtic an infinitely better team, and if Kyogo can continue to pick up some form against the Steelmen this weekend then it will be incredibly important for Celtic for the rest of the season.

James McKenzie // @JamesWHMcKenzie

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