Celtic vs St Johnstone: Hoops Eye Premiership Rebound
Celtic are setting the stage for a Scottish Premiership face-off with St Johnstone in a few minutes, a contest that's more than just another league match. It's a chance for the Hoops to reclaim their winning aura after a less-than-ideal exit from the League Cup. Sitting pretty at the top of the Premiership with two wins under their belt, Celtic are the odds-on favorites. St Johnstone, meanwhile, are still searching for their first point of the season, languishing at the bottom of the table.
The match also brings some intriguing subplots, especially for Celtic's Brendan Rodgers. The manager is actively scouting for a new central defender as injuries plague the squad. Key players like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki, and Steven Welsh are on the mend until October. Yuki Kobayashi and Reo Hatate are also out, slated to return post the international break. This opens the door for Liam Scales to make a mark in the starting lineup.
Adding another layer to the narrative, Alistair Johnston is set to make his first start since returning from injury, and it's not just him. Home starting XI debuts are also on the cards for Yang and Gustaf Lagerbielke, adding fresh energy to the Hoops' lineup.
Across the pitch, St Johnstone's Steven MacLean is trying to rally his troops. The team has been in a slump, losing five of their opening six matches across all competitions. They've also struggled to find the back of the net, drawing blanks in their last three outings. But MacLean is not one to wallow; he's been vocal about his team's positive attitude and work ethic.
Given the contrasting fortunes of the two teams and Celtic's formidable home record, the match is shaping up to be a David vs Goliath affair. Rodgers is eager for his team to put on a show, especially after their recent cup hiccup. It's a game that promises not just points but a chance for Celtic to reassert their Premiership dominance, while St Johnstone will be keen to pull off an upset.