Spartans women’s manager Debbi McCulloch insists critics were wrong to write-off Celtic this season following a number of departures from the club over the close season.
Tomorrow Spartans host Celtic at Ainslie Park (kick-off 1pm) and boss McCulloch believes both clubs will be competing for places at the top end of the table come the end of the season.
She said: “Everyone was worried for Celtic given the amount of players that left them over the close season; everyone except Celtic themselves.
“They’re a huge club and no one should have underestimated them because they’ve such a terrific youth system.
“I saw them play in the League Cup semi-final against Glasgow City and I was very impressed; they’re defensively solid, creative in midfield and have strikers that can put the ball in the net.
“I expect Celtic to be pushing for the top four.
Elsewhere, Hutchison Vale are at home to high-flying Hibs (Saughton Enclosure, kick-off 2pm) and manager Andy Enwood admits his side may have to go back to basics.
The Black and Yellows go into their clash with the Hibees nursing a number of injuries; however, with crucial matches on the horizon, Enwood insists he won’t take any risks with his depleted squad.
“The injuries are a concern going into the game because on paper Hibs are a better side than Celtic – who we lost seven goals to.
“We’ve tried to alter the way we’ve gone into games against the top sides and unfortunately we haven’t got the balance right and it has left us a little exposed.
“We may revert back to basics for the Hibs game, but after that we have a really important June with games against Stirling, Hearts and Forfar Farmington.
“These are the games that will ultimately shape our season, so unless players are fully fit for the Hibs match, then they won’t be risked.”
Meanwhile, Hearts Ladies aim to build on last weekend’s victory over Forfar Farmington with a strong performance against Glasgow City at Alex Ferguson Park (kick-off 2:30pm).
Jambos gaffer Grant Scott commented: “We’ll have a game plan but are realistic and know that City will have to have one of their worst days and we need one of our best.
“I don’t want my players to be frightened to get the ball down and play, I want them to play with belief and confidence, because we’ve nothing to lose, no matter the score.”