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Celtic vs Ross County - Sat 1 Aug
I know it's still eight days away, but as tickets are now on sale I thought I'd get in there early with the match thread to cover that fact.  It's rare that we need to buy our tickets in advance for an away game (especially in a stadium with as many empty seats as Celtic Park), so if you're going, don't forget to buy one.

Tickets available here.

Now, who else thinks Celtic are having a laugh?  £26 for what is probably the worst supporter experience in the Premiership.  You get to sit near a corner flag with a terrible view, in a stadium with terrible catering and is a trek from the centre of town.  It's also kicking off at 12:45 and is live on TV.

If it wasn't for the feel-good factor around the squad just now and it being the first day of the season I probably wouldn't bother going.

As for the match itself, no one goes to Celtic Park expecting to win.  We'll probably lose, but you never know - Celtic will have played a UCL qualifier midweek (at home to FK Qarabag, sadly not away in Azerbaijan), and will be gearing up towards the return leg four days later.  We could be an unwelcome distraction from what is undoubtedly their priority.

I'd happily take a scrappy draw.  In the first game in Hungary the team lined up with a 4-4-1-1 formation with Franks playing in behind Curran.  It might not be the same personnel against Celtic, but I suspect that will be the formation.  A runner supporting someone else who holds the ball up.  Seeking to frustrate Celtic and catch them on the break.

And the added bonus of playing Celtic away in the first game is that if we lose then we can shrug our shoulders and say the season starts next week.  Anything we do take from the match will be a nice surprise.

So, many planning on taking the journey down, or is anyone taking a stand against the ridiculous pricing and staying at home to watch it?
I'll be there and have to agree with everything you have said above - definitely having a laugh given the circumstances would love to dump on their flag day!
Supporter Liaison Officer 

Won't be going. Last time I was there we were treated like scum by the stewards. Paid good money only to be stuck in a corner where you couldn't see all of the game. Will go to Tavern and watch on telly rather than give them my hard earned pennies.
I'm still very much undecided. Either going with 5 year old son and jumping on supporters bus back, or will be on my tod in the Mallard.
Hate missing a game, rarely do, but the early KO, price, being forced to buy tickets in advance, crap view and all-in-all worst away day experience of the season has motivated me to do something else.
I'll be watching from a pub in London!

I'll miss the bus craic, but that's all.

Dearly hope we ruin their flag-day, hope all that make the journey have a great day.

Aww Mr Taylor, I was looking forward to catching up on your many hotel visits and how many corridors had two fire extinguishers at the end like the twins from one of my favourite movies - next time then :0)

Have to admit - I don't blame you, only reason I'm going is that I've never set foot in Parkhead and need to chalk that off the list of grounds visited :0)
Supporter Liaison Officer 

Will be viewing on the Big Screen in the King and Queen Public House in Sunny Brighton...
I won't be able to make this one its my weekend on I would take a point
(07-24-2015, 04:13 PM)StuartTaylor Wrote: Hate missing a game, rarely do, but the early KO, price, being forced to buy tickets in advance, crap view and all-in-all worst away day experience of the season has motivated me to do something else.
I'll be watching from a pub in London!

I'll miss the bus craic, but that's all.

Dearly hope we ruin their flag-day, hope all that make the journey have a great day.

Sad state and I am in total agreement.

Kick-off time - Feeling sorry once for old firm fans they have this all the time
Price - Utterly corrupt
View - Poor
Match day experience - 5 miles of walking to sit in a half empty stadium

I cannot see a draw from this, We will stun them with a 1-2 away win.

Cheers from the pub on this one staggies.
Early kick-off and ticket price has persuaded me against going, will be following via twitter and the radio as I'll be stuck in the forest's watching the Speyside stages hopefully.
Disclaimer -Anything posted by this user is likely to contain large amount of sarcasm, humour and nuts. At no time should anything be taken seriously, even on serious topics. Failure to do so may result in confusion and your tongue turning black, consult a doctor if symptoms persist.
Celtic Away – Saturday 1st August 2015
The formation I’d like to see us play is a variation of 3-4-3/5-2-3
----Gardyne------------------------De Vita---
Subs: Bachmann, Foster, Holden, McShane, Franks*, Dingwall, Curran.
* Boyce on the bench ahead of Franks, if he's fit.

The thought of 3 at the back probably strikes fear into most County supporters after the start to the 2013/14 season, but we’ve actually played 3 CBs twice at Celtic Park to some success.
-      August 2013: First game of the season we started with 3 CBs and lead 1-0 most of the game only to lose 2-1 with two late Celtic goals.
-      December 2014: Although we started this game with a 4-4-1-1, when Gardyne got injured after 35 minutes, we replaced him with Saunders and for the rest of the game played 3 CBs (Saunders, Boyd and Quinn) with Toshney and Reckord the two full backs. We drew 0-0 in this game, so we’ve faired pretty well in the two games away to Celtic with 3 CBs.

Celtic should line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with inverted wingers. When Celtic’s wingers inevitably cut inside, there are two players surrounding them. When Celtic’s left winger (probably Armstrong) cuts in, Fraser and Robertson should be positioned well to block him. Same on the other wing with Reckord and Davies. Having two defenders there every time the inverted winger cuts inside forces the player to go down the line, the last thing an inverted winger wants to do. We should be able to deal with the threat comfortably when Celtic’s two wide players receive the ball to feet. It should be very difficult for Celtic to find Johansen’s feet in the number ten role. Murdoch and Quinn should be well positioned guarding the back three, in between the gaps between both Robertson/Boyd and Boyd/Davies.
This will allow Celtic’s two holding midfielders (Brown and Biton) time on the ball, but when Celtic try and play a pass into the final third, they will be outnumbered and should find it extremely difficult. I don’t think Celtic have a deep lying playmaker with a range of passing good enough to really hurt us. Neither Brown nor Biton have the ability to play 30/40 yard passes cutting through our defence. Biton is a naturally defensively player and doesn't have the range of passing to hurt us in the final third. He keeps the ball moving well, right and left foot, but his passing is mainly short. Brown has a lot of energy, but I don't see him having the range of passing to really hurt us. I don't think Brown has the ability the play a 30 yard pass through a well organised back five, with two holding midfielders guarding it. The biggest problem would be Johansen moving back into one of the two holding roles, as he has a great range of passing and vision. 
We have to assess this game honestly and admit Celtic will have majority of the possession, meaning we’ll play with a low defensive block. This negates the threat of pace in behind. I feel this would lead to Celtic getting their full backs to overlap and put crosses into the box. However, any crosses into the box should be dealt with pretty comfortably. That’s the big advantage of having 3 CBs, plus a covering full back. Only a mistake will allow Celtic’s striker, their number ten or opposite winger getting on the end of a cross.
The biggest weakness of this formation is the centre midfielders. I personally think they’re the weakest part of our team, certainly weaker than Irvine/Woods last season. I don’t think McShane will start here, he’s not had a good pre-season and Quinn seems more reliable. Quinn has far more SPL experienced and has played for the club for years, there’s much less risk starting him. What Murdoch and Quinn need to be in this game is disciplined. Keep the shape, make sure gaps don’t open for Celtic’s attacking midfielders to receive the ball in. Celtic’s attackers receiving the ball centrally in front of our defence will cause problems and the two CM’s positioning needs to cut out those passes. Celtic’s striker or number 10 can’t be allowed to receive the ball in front of a CB, isolating the CB into a one-vs-one situation. Their defensive discipline is absolutely vital. They can't allow themselves to be dragged out, or too wide, they almost have to shuttle across as the ball goes from side the side. Not letting the gap between the two CMs grow too big will be so important.  Don't go chasing the ball, keep the shape. That's the priority; keep the shape.
The two full backs, Fraser and Reckord, have a big role. They should be forcing Celtic’s two wingers down the touchline at all times. Any crosses into the box, we should be able to deal with since we’ll have three 6 foot CBs in the box. Defensive positioning will be vital for these two. When a Celtic winger receives the ball to feet, Fraser or Reckord (depending which wing) should be able to double up on the winger with the LCB or RCB. When playing a low block, which we inevitably will, the threat in behind is minimal. Any ball in behind Fraser or Reckord, if they’re positioned well, would have to be inch perfect and the covering CB should be able to deal with it.
Going forward, we will look to Gardyne and De Vita. I would start Graham in this game, ahead of Boyce and Curran. Graham has been scoring for fun in pre-season and should come into this game full of confidence. Away to a team like Celtic, you need a striker who’s good with his back to goal and who can bring the two wingers into the game. I feel Graham fits that criteria the best out of our three strikers, but he’s not just a target man. Graham also has the ability to make runs in behind and is a good finisher. Graham holding the ball up with Gardyne and De Vita getting close to him should cause problems to an exposed Celtic defence with advanced full backs. The last thing Celtic will want defensively is Gardyne and De Vita running with the ball at their defence.
Set pieces are important in every game, but we have to make them count away to the best team in the league. We have a tall team for set pieces; Robertson, Boyd, Davies, Reckord, Murdoch, Quinn and Graham are all 6 foot. Craig Gordon isn't particularly strong on set pieces, despite being very tall. He doesn't like the physical part of set pieces and tends to stay on his line. A well delivered corner between the 6 yard box and penalty box should cause a lot of problems. Davies especially is a big threat at set pieces.

Celtic will have already played 3 competitive games by the time they play us. However, they will have played basically the same team for 4 games in 10 days by Saturday. I’m not sure if that will be a positive or negative for them, I was very surprised they played pretty much their strongest team in a friendly against Rennes yesterday in the middle of two midweek CL qualifiers. There is a possibility they’ll rest a few players against us ahead of the second leg through the week, but I doubt it. The first day of the season is often quite unpredictable, so that would be a big risk by Delia.

The 0-0 draw at Celtic Park in December should give the players a lot of confidence. I don’t expect us to go there and pass Celtic off the park, I expect us to go there and try to grind out a result. With Gardyne, De Vita and Graham we should definitely be a threat on the counter attack and, if we defend correctly, I fancy us to get a draw.

Prediction: Celtic 1-1 Ross County.
Can't see us going 5 at the back.

I'd expect Curran to start as well - his work rate is excellent.

If Boyce is fit I would expect him to start.
If we were going to go with 3 CBs, I'd have expected to see it trialled at some stage during pre-season
I'd expect a 4-4-1-1, with a runner and a target man infront of 2 fairly solid banks of 4
"The heart of the club is the fan. The board and the chairman are custodians. The staff are transient. But the fan is there forever"

Roy Macgregor, April 2013
The starting 11 from yesterday is probably the team for Celtic, possibly Rekord for Foster, and if so Foster for Fraser.
I'm not sure if Rekord is injured or what?
Boyd will be available but to be honest I was v impressed with Robertson yesterday.

Anything that results in us not being bottom come Sunday evening would be a bonus. Hopefully Celtic are struggling in the euro game so they have one eye on the return leg.

For me the season starts the week after. With what will be a very important home match v Hamilton.
No sacrifice no victory 
'Reckord', bloody phone.

I suspect we'll go for a 4-4-1-1 hybrid of yesterday's team and the first game in Hungary, with as much legs and running as possible up front:

Foster Robertson Davies Reckord
Gardyne Quinn Murdoch De Vita
.: Ours, is the Fury :.

I was assuming the side which played the first half on Saturday would be the one which started against Celtic, with Curran off Graham.
Is on Sky or BT Sport? can watch in house if BT but will have to go drinking if on Sky!!!

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