Celtic v Glasgow City: Hosts expect backlash - Charlie Wellings
Full match preview and tale of the tape ahead of Celtic v Glasgow City on Sunday
Celtic are expecting a backlash from SWPL 1 champions Glasgow City says striker Charlie Wellings, as the two prepare to lock horns on Sunday.
Last season’s top two both fell in the qualifying stage of the Champions League, with City’s exit still raw with it coming as recently as Wednesday with a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Switzerland’s Servette ending their hopes.
However, summer signing Wellings says Celtic are going into the clash full of belief when they host City at the Penny Cars Stadium.
“We know the players that they have in their team and the quality,” said Wellings.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but we believe in ourselves as well. I think that going into the game, we’re not going to go there and do anything but come back with the three points and that’s the aim. We’re definitely confident and ready for the game.”
‘We will be aggressive’
Celtic faced City three times last season, losing twice but managing to draw the last game between the two.
Those results were pivotal in helping City finish three points above Fran Alonso’s side to claim their 14th consecutive title.
Alonso said: “We know how difficult that is when we are facing the champions, but we will try to impose our game and be aggressive like we always are and compete better than them.
“And then, we know their threats. They can play the ball out and if they press, they can be very good at being direct. They work very well with the second balls and have three players up front that are very, very fast. At times, they can interchange positions, and if we switch off then that could cost us.”
‘The players know the magnitude of the game’
Scott Booth departed city in summer to take charge at English WSL team Birmingham City, with former Hibs boss Grant Scott taking interim charge until a permanent successor is appointed.
Scott has won all his domestic games so far, including a 6-0 thumping of Motherwell on the opening day of the league season last weekend, but Wednesday’s defeat to Servette stings.
“I don’t think it’ll take much to pick the players up for it,” said Scott. “They know the magnitude of the game.
“We want to play in [the Champions League] annually and we know that we need to be at the top of the league to do that.
“Without being too blunt about it, we know we need to just treat it as a three-point game on Sunday. Tough opponent, but I don’t think it needs any pick up for the girls, they know what’s at stake and hopefully we’ll be ready.”
Celtic (4-2-3-1) Logan, Bartle, Hayes, Clark, Warrington, Teegarden, Chance, Olafsdottir Gros, Atkinson, Bowie, Wellings
Glasgow City (4-3-3) Alexander, Foley, Van Wyk, Walsh, Molin, Love, Farrelly, Fulton, Davidson, Shine, Chinchilla
On the opening day of the season, goals from Rachel McLauchlan and Kirsty Howat gave City victory at Broadwood over Celtic.
The next game between the sides came immediately after the restart to the league campaign in April, when a flat Celtic side were comfortably beaten 3-0 by City at K-Park.
The final meeting was a tense affair as the title race was reaching its climax, with both Lee Alexander and Chloe Logan saving penalties in a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
Aberdeen (a) 4-2
St Johnstone (h) 3-0
Minsk (n) 2-3
Levante (n) 1-2
Heart of Midlothian (h) 2-0
Servette (h) 1-2
Motherwell (h) 6-0
Servette (a) 1-1
Hamilton Academical (a) 6-0
BIIK Shymkent (a) 1-0
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