Celtic v Hearts - Scottish Cup Semi Final

Pat Fenlon’s Hibernian await in the final after their own 2-1 victory over Aberdeen today.

I don’t think Celtic have any new injury concerns. Scott Brown has overcome the knock that saw him taken off early in the second half at Kilmarnock last Saturday and Thomas Rogne is fit again after his ankle injury.

James Forrest remains out with the calf injury sustained in the League Cup final but Victor Wanyama is available again after suspension.

I guess the main decisions are i) Rogne or Loovens; ii) Wanyama or Ki and iii) what 2 from Samaras, Hooper and Stokes.

I’d like to see Wanyama come in for Ki and Izzy replace Wilson, otherwise I’d keep the same team as last week.

Aberdeen supporter Samantha Mumba will have been gutted with today’s defeat.

She wished them luck pre-game: http://www.twitvid.com/ZZNFL#!modal-autoplay

A piece with Neil Lennon from Football Focus today courtesy of Alan Mac on the huddleboard:


Robbie Savage. :clap:

Georgios Samaras. :clap:

Lennon is certain to unleash Georgios Samaras on the Jambos.

“He has been huge for us this season,” said the Celtic boss. “We always knew he had the talent, we just needed to find the consistency or, rather, he needed to find the consistency in his performances because he was a bit hit and miss, but once he got into the team this year he was fabulous for us.

“Georgios has great belief in himself but sometimes you would wonder if that was misguided because he wasn’t showing that belief in his play. Then, from round about October, he became a really big player for us.

“He has shown tremendous character as well. It would have been quite easy for him to say ‘I’ve had enough here’ and go and lie in the sun somewhere but he wanted to tough it out, he wanted to prove everyone wrong so I have huge admiration for his strength of character allied to the ability he has shown here.”

Lennon is also full of praise for the Scottish contingent in his global squad and insisted: “Charlie Mulgrew, James Forrest and Scott Brown are the ones who have played regularly and they have been exceptional, so Scottish people should be happy with them allied to the likes of the Steven Naismiths and Allan McGregors of this world shows there are quality players playing in this country and they are homegrown.”

CELTIC (4-4-2) Forster; Lustig, K. Wilson, Loovens, Mulgrew; Brown, Ki, Ledley, Commons; Samaras, Hooper

Subs: Zaluska, Izaguirre, Stokes, Wanyama, McGeouch

I think that’s only one change from last week - Lustig in for Matthews. I’m guessing Matthews has a knock given he’s not on the bench either.

Wanyama’s physicality has been important against these dirty bastards in previous encounters this season so I’m a little surprised he hasn’t been brought back in.

I fancy Kris Commons to score his first goal of the season today. He’s been gradually getting back to his best over recent weeks.

Yeah, Commons is regaining form and he’s playing in the role and system that nurtures his best qualities. No real complaints with the side either bar Wanyama coming in for Ki. I would liked to have seen Izzy start as well.

Adam Matthews has mumps. :o

Wilson you docile cunt.

Few slack moments at the back so far. Hooper and Samaras have hardly got on the ball yet.

Pompous little wanker refereeing the game today.

Ian Black is a fucking animal.

Some slackness by Wilson and Mulgrew so far. Hearts playing very narrow so full backs are the outlet.

Hooper should have done better there. Mulgrew’s left foot delivery is class. Hooper has yet to score in the cup for Celtic. :o

Hooper definitely should have done better there, he really hates heading the ball and barely left the ground for that. Wonderful cross by Mulgrew.

Lustig has impressed me in the first half.

You’d imagine we should be a big threat from corners today with the back four all big lads over six foot and Samaras and Ledley being big aerial threats as well.

Lustig getting in down the right again after a nice ball by Hooper. Samaras needs to get more involved, he’s been anonymous thus far.

Much better play in the last 10 minutes. Beginning to dominate the midfield area just need to be a little more incisive in the final third.

Wonderful ball in by Lustig who has been our best player so far. Ki really should score.