What A Difference!

WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

What a difference a day makes! (now, isn’t that a wonderful title for a song – someone should write about that?). On Saturday evening, even at my son James’ wedding to the lovely Amanda, we were all talking about Celtic being only four points behind Rangers, albeit the latter had a game in hand. Then, 24 hours later, after the Light Blues have capitulated to Kilmarnock, the gap was still four points. Cheers!

It is very much a case now of the momentum being with the Hoops and the players must keep that drive going, starting with the Europa League match against Atletico Madrid at Parkhead on Wednesday. The Spaniards not only lost the Madrid battle with Real at the weekend by 4-1, they suffered the loss of their keeper Courtois to a red card in 21 minutes and Godin to another ten minutes from time. Atletico had certainly started the match looking sharp and determined but once they had an extra player on the pitch, Real took control and won comfortably. We will see on Wednesday whether Atletico will suffer a reaction to their loss, made even more damaging to morale when it is a local derby.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Atletico Madrid lie in 9th place in La Liga table, already, after only 13 matches, 18 points behind leaders Real Madrid. Jose Marino’s side now have a 6-point lead over Barcelona, having scored 46 goals to the Catalans’ 38. Can the champions recover?

The list of goalscorers also makes interesting reading. Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way with 16, followed by Barca’s Lionel Messi on 15; two of the next three are from Real Madrid – Higuain (12) and Benzema (7) – and we have to down the list a bit more to find more Barca names, Fabregas (5), Villa (4) and Xavi (4).

From those stats, it looks like Barca rely heavily on Messi, who looked completely out of sorts on Saturday evening against Getafe, so it was no surprise that the Catalans went down by a single goal. What I find equally surprising is the poor return from David Villa; now I know why he seems to be the most likely of the forwards to be substituted.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Celtic’s other Europa League opponents are doing equally well in their domestic leagues. Udinese lie near the top of Serie A, along with Juventus, Lazio and AC Milan; while Rennes are in 5th place in League 1, four points behind leaders Paris St Germain.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Back in Scotland, there are a few teams in difficult positions at the foot of the SPL table. All of them have a similar problem; they do not score enough goals and they let in too many, so goal differences are in the ‘minus’ category. Aberdeen (11th place) have a workable figure of -4; on the other hand, Hibs (9th; -10), Dunfermline (10th ; -15) and Inverness ( 12th ; -12) all look as though they are in for a long, hard winter. Celtic’s opponents next Saturday – Dundee United – also have a minus goal difference ( -5), while the Hoops figure of +20 is second only to that of Rangers.

Jim Craig

Advertisements

One thought on “What A Difference!

  1. Was thinking ahead to our game with Athletico too Jim when I seen them down to 10. Falcao didn’t make the Madrid game but appears to have travelled for CP, which will give them a boost.

    If we can concentrate at the back, we are in with a shout.

    Question for Lennon I am sure is should we adopt a five man Midfield, perhaps with Samaras on left and drop one of our two in form strikers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s