25-year-old to run the show: Three things to expect from Celtic against Hearts
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Celtic return to action in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday with a visit to fifth-placed Hearts at Tynecastle.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were in fine form prior to the international break, winning three of their four matches in all competitions this month, scoring 11 goals and conceding just three.
They will be expected to continue their unbeaten run in all domestic competitions against Hearts on Sunday, but Football Insider has revealed three other things that will be expected to happen during the clash.
Armstrong to run the show
Celtic’s squad is riddled with quality talent, including Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney and Scott Sinclair. But the figure expected to be pulling the strings for Celtic on Sunday is midfielder Stuart Armstrong.
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The 25-year-old midfielder has been one of Celtic’s most consistent performers this season, and has been transformed under the stewardship of Rodgers.
He has 11 goals and seven assists from 23 league appearances this term, including a goal in each of his last three outings.
That rich vein form makes it difficult to overlook Armstrong as a candidate to contribute either a goal or an assist for Celtic against Hearts, with the Scotland international set to thrive once more in his attacking-midfield role.
If Dundee don’t do Celtic the honour of beating second-placed Aberdeen on Friday night, then Celtic will have the league title in the bag with a win against Hearts.
That inevitable outcome will come as little surprise given their sheer dominance in the league this term, where they have pressed home an emphatic 25 point advantage at the top of the table.
No side has come close to matching Celtic for a number of years, with Rodgers set to lift his first league title at the club; as well as their sixth consecutive title.
Celtic beat Hearts comfortably 4-0 when they last met in January, and it seems highly unlikely that they will be the side to finally put a stop to Celtic’s impressive run.
Determined and hungry
With such success at stake, each and every Celtic player will be expected to go into the game with sky-high confidence and hunger to finish what they started way back in August.
There may be a few tired legs following the international break, but with the prospect of winning the title in such close proximity, they will fight through it.
Whether in possession or pressing the opposition to regain the ball, Celtic will be up for it.
It’s no less than they deserve, and it will ease the pressure heading into the final few weeks of the season. Although they will not take an early title triumph as an excuse to let up their performances.
There will still be another title up for grabs with the Scottish Cup, while maintain their precious unbeaten domestic record will also be at the top of the agenda.
In other Celtic news, this is how Rodgers’ side are expected to line up against Hearts.