25-year-old will be missed: Three things we learned about Celtic in win v Hamilton
By Matt Farr
Football Insider analyses three main talking points from Celtic’s win 2-0 over Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
25-year-old will be missed
Celtic were dealt an unfortunate setback within the first 10 minutes of the game, when winger James Forrest was forced off with injury. The 25-year-old was on the receiving end of a high challenge from Daniel Redmond, and was replaced by Gary Mackay-Steven. The extent of the injury is yet unknown, but should he be forced to spend a period out on the sidelines, he will be a significant loss for Celtic. The Hoops are already without winger Patrick Roberts, and could be set to lose another of their star wide players. Forrest has scored seven goals and contributed 11 assists for the club this season, but has been particularly fruitful in recent weeks. He bagged a hat-trick of assists against Inverness two weeks’ ago, and scored in the recent win over Motherwell. His energy and desire has been a key asset this season, and could be a big loss in the coming weeks.
The value of a prolific goalscorer
When a side is not at their best, the presence of a prolific goalscorer can often make the difference. They have the ability to turn just one chance into a goal, and that is what Celtic have in Moussa Dembele. It was a cagey affair for much of the first-half, with very few shots on target for both sides. Of their ten shots on goal, only three Celtic efforts were on target. The two sides looked set to go in goalless at the break, but it was Dembele’s thunderous long-range strike that set the ball rolling just minutes for Celtic. The 20-year-old now has 29 goals across all competitions this season, and continues to lead the charge for Celtic in their bid for domestic treble glory.
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Tierney is indispensable
Dembele has been the star for Celtic this season, but the performances of left-back Kieran Tierney cannot go unnoticed. The 19-year-old has been exceptional since returning from injury in the new year, and fellow full-back Emilio Izaguirre simply hasn’t had a look in. Tierney loves to bomb forward on the left-hand side, and in a game where Celtic were not quite at their best against Hamilton, he was the big threat in the wide areas. He already has 10 assists to his name this season, and his bursts forward caused continuous problems for Hamilton; on one occasion drawing a foul to earn a penalty. Celtic will be braced to land bids for the likes of Craig Gordon and Dembele in the summer, but they should be ready to fend off interest in Tierney too. He is a formidable young talent, and they simply cannot let him go.