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Friday 15 December 2017

Deila hails his strike pairing in win at Killie

Ronny Deila finally switched to a 4-4-2 formation yesterday and watched twin strikers John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic score in Celtic's 2-0 win over Kilmarnock.

The win lifted Celtic into fourth place in the table, three points behind leaders Hamilton Accies but with a game in hand over the Lanarkshire side.

Anthony Stokes missed out due to an ankle injury but with two strikers leading the line the home fans had reason for optimism as their favourites recorded their third consecutive win since returning from the international break.

"Guidetti and Scepovic showed they are dangerous and want to score goals, we will get goals from them," Deila stated afterwards.

It took a red card for Kilmarnock skipper Manuel Pascali in the 35th minute to turn the match Celtic's way with Guidetti doubling the punishment by firing a low free kick into the net from 20 yards out.

Kilmarnock had threatened the Celtic defence a couple of times prior to that but lost their edge by going behind and being reduced to ten men.

Northern Irish U-21 cap Conor Brennan, making just his third senior appearance, pulled off a couple of great saves before being beaten by Scepovic from close range in the 64th minute.

The Celtic support has still to be won over by Deila but in the middle of a four match run of home fixtures the Norwegian seems to be edging the hoops in the right direction.

Wins this week over Partick Thistle in the League Cup and against Inverness Caley Thistle should restore some stability and confidence as Deila comes to terms with the demands of his new club. "Every game is like a cup tie here," he added. "You have to win then you enjoy it. I'm looking forward to Wednesday now but we need the whole squad to get through all the competitions we are in."

With five goals from six starts as a Celtic player Guidetti has settled quickly into life at Celtic and looks capable of hitting the 20 goal mark that strikers are measured against in the east end of Glasgow.

The on-loan Manchester City man looked happier with another striker sharing the scoring burden and was delighted to see Scepovic add to the goal that he netted in midweek against Dinamo Zagreb.

"I'm so happy for Stefan to get a goal," his team-mate said. "It is easy to play with good players. The most important thing was the win. The fans have taken to me and I have taken to them."

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