RONNY DEILA isn’t under the quite the pressure Jose Mourinho is facing but might need to land the Treble to save his job.
Both are in charge of champions and with that comes expectation to win games – more so in Scotland.
And with the Hoops failing in Europe it could take three trophies for Deila to convince his employers – and just as importantly the fans – he’s the man to take the club forward.
A week is a long time in football. After the mauling in Molde a 5-0 destruction of Dundee United followed by League Cup quarter-final success at Hearts would give the Norwegian breathing space … until the next slip-up (or bust-up).
Today’s headlines are not about the game but the training-ground row involving Nadir Ciftci and Emilio Izaguirre that ended with the Honduran needing hospital treatment on a cut face.
Deila insists the incident has been dealt with and won’t affect the players’ performance at Tynecastle. Celtic are no bigger than 1-2 at Betfred to win and 33-10 with McBookie to lift both cups – the odds hardly shudder when you add in the title.
It should be a terrific tie with Hearts returning to form after back-to-back wins against Dundee United and Ross County and they are 13-2 with William Hill to win in 90 minutes and 4-1 at Bet365 to qualify.
Robbie Neilson’s men held the Hoops 0-0 at Tynecastle last month but Celtic’s record in Gorgie is stunningly impressive. They’ve won their last six. And look at the scores … 4-0, 2-0, 7-0, 3-1, 4-0 and 4-0.
But Celtic’s defence this season has been their undoing and in their last nine away games they’ve kept just one clean sheet – at Motherwell.
Many of those have been European ties but with a sell-out crowd roaring them on I expect the Jambos to score even if they lose. Best bet could be both to score at 3-4 with 888Sport while Celtic and both to score pays 2-1 at Paddy Power.
Deila is unlikely to tinker with his line-up despite a heavy schedule so for a first-scorer bet I’d go with Leigh Griffiths at 7-2 with Bet365 and consider Kris Commons at 13-10 with the same firm to net at anytime. Jambos’ top scorer Juanma is 11-4 at Ladbrokes to score.
Both teams to score
Celtic & btts
(2-1, Paddy Power)
Commons to score