Training ground tear up shows Celtic not lacking intensity

News emerging from the Celtic camp ahead of their tricky Scottish League Cup quarter-final tie at Hearts, could be taken one of two ways by Bhoys fans.

On the one hand, players coming to blows could be a concerning sign of disunity within the squad.

However, on the other it could be construed quite positively. If some observers feel Celtic are complacent in their position as the undisputed kings of the Scottish game in recent years, then this passionate flair up counters that perception.

In this case an overzealous challenge by Emilio Izaguirre on teammate Nadir Ciftci appears to have resulted in the latter taking a reactionary swipe at the defender, who has received stitches on an ear according to reports.

While this is not an ideal situation, anyone who has played or watched the beautiful game with anything approaching regularity will be aware that passions spill over and tempers inevitably flair.

At least it shows that far from resting on their laurels, the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership leaders are giving their all, even in training.

Manager Ronny Deila was keen to draw a line under the incident, insisting the players have already patched up their differences.

“I always say to my players I want 100 per cent. They are very good at that, said Deila. “We have a fantastic atmosphere on the training pitch. It’s been very good lately.

“Sometimes it goes a little too hot and today there was an incident but I have talked with both players and everybody is ready for tomorrow.”

With Hearts putting breathing space between themselves and in-form Ross County with victory over the Staggies at Tynecastle just days prior to Celtic’s visit, the Hoops will need to quickly put this incident behind them if they have eyes on progressing to the semis.

The Bhoys are still priced up as 10/21 favourites to beat the Jam Tarts by Ladbrokes, even in lieu of the fracas.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.