It’s not often that an Old Firm derby has little riding. However, when Celtic welcome their fiercest rivals to Parkhead on Sunday, it will be the grim reality of the situation.
The Hoops have already relinquished their hold on the SPFL, but they’ll be keen to get revenge as soon as possible.
To the blackboard
At the end of the season, there could be a lot of change in Paradise. Neil Lennon has already walked and therefore a new manager will come to the club.
They also got to see veteran midfielder Scott Brown depart.
The captain is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has already been asked to hang up his boots and take on a coaching role.
It remains to be seen if John Kennedy begins to confuse him by the end of the season. Brown has recently made very mixed presentations. The midfielder scored a header and then delightfully assisted Albian Ajeti in the 4-0 win over Kilmarnock.
The 35-year-old impressed again a week later against St Mirren. However, his performance declined again, which was evident against Dundee United when the Celtic midfielder was made rather toothless.
Who do you prefer to start on Sunday?
On this occasion, he was stopped 12 minutes from time after making just 77% of his passes, losing the ball 15 times.
Celtic will have to find a quick fix if Brown leaves. They have been linked with a move for Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy while Motherwell’s Allan Campbell is another to be touted.
However, by playing Ismaila Soro in the coming weeks, they might just be able to save some money.
Soro has been excellent when given a chance this quarter, but the Hoops will surely want to know if he’s up to the task of becoming Brown’s heir down the line.
Throwing it this weekend in the old company would therefore be useful. He’s an eye-catching midfielder and despite his small size, he’s not afraid of getting stuck in a tackle.
In fact, the £ 11,000 a week winner can be just as aggressive as Brown. With “explosive power” according to his former coach Ori Guttman, the Ivorian made up to ten tackles against Lille in Europe at the start of the season.
The 22-year-old won eight more in the 2-0 win over Hamilton and in his last five games he has managed 17 challenges. So if anyone is well equipped to take on the champions on Sunday, it is Soro.
This is the type of stage he needs to truly thrive on to take his game to the next level. John Kennedy only lined him up for 12 minutes during his stint as interim boss; that must change.
AND in other news, Forget Laxalt: Celtic must unleash the 19 years of the next quarter never seen before, he is “very talented” …