This season has been a brutal affair for Celtic. They are currently 13 points off the pace in the SPFL and were knocked out of both the Champions League and Europa League in the same season.
If that wasn’t enough, they were also knocked out of the Scottish League Cup too.
Fortunately, their campaign could embark on a period of rejuvenation very soon.
This Sunday Celtic have an ideal opportunity to wipe away the negativity that has intoxicated their term so far.
2020/21 was supposed to be all about their quest for ten league crowns in a row. However, while that now looks unlikely, silverware is within their sight.
This weekend they take on Hearts in the Scottish Cup final and fortunately, they have found form at just the right time.
They beat Lille in the Europa League and then Neil Lennon laid down another marker when the Hoops defeated Kilmarnock last weekend.
The Bhoys might be some way behind in the league but this offers a timely distraction, one that if they win, may spark a revival in the league.
So, how can Celtic improve their chances of winning the final?
Celtic’s defence has been absolutely horrific this season and that’s putting it kinder than we could have.
Clearly, Lennon’s backline needs to improve but it’s no coincidence that since Ismaila Soro’s energetic legs were brought into the side for the first time, Celtic have enhanced their play.
They conceded twice against a fierce Lille team but kept a clean sheet against Killie. Soro has been a huge part of their recent solidity and he simply has to start against Hearts in a few days time.
This is someone who brings boundless vigour to the midfield and can dominate the play, taking the ball from defence to attack in the blink of an eye.
His former coach, Ori Guttman said in January: “When I saw Soro I was immediately excited. From the first second I noticed his explosive power. His tackling and dribbling skills were incredible. He looked like he had good potential.”
And indeed, we’re now seeing that potential emerge at Celtic. It’s remarkable to think he’s started just twice in 2020 for the Hoops given his impressive displays.
This is someone who keeps things calm and composed in the middle of the park, being described as a “wonderful player” by Frankie McAvennie.
Considering how non-existent Celtic’s midfield has been for the best part of this season, Soro has been a game-changer.
He could well determine whether the Scottish Cup goes back to Glasgow or Edinburgh.
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