House bragging rights at stake for Celtic's Ryan Christie
Albion Rovers v Celtic (tomorrow, 3pm, live on Sky Sports 5)
Ryan Christie has more than a place in the next round of the William Hill Scottish Cup at stake when Celtic face Albion Rovers tomorrow.
The 21-year-old attacker’s flat mate is Calum Ferguson who fired a dramatic late winner for the League One side to dump Queen of the South out of the competition and set up a lucrative fourth-round tie against the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders at Airdrie’s ground.
Christie has struck a deal with Ferguson, whom he played with when both were at Inverness.
He said: “When he scored the winner to book the place against us it was all a bit too good to be true.
“It will be very strange. There hasn’t been much talk about it in the flat, the cards have been kept close to the chest.
“The deal is if one of us scores, the other is making a three-course meal so I’m looking forward to that hopefully.
“But if I am the one that scores it might be a trip to a restaurant, instead of him cooking.”
Christie was in the Celtic side sensationally beaten 1-0 by part-time Lincoln Red Imps in a Champions League qualifier in July.
It was Brendan Rodgers’ first game as boss after taking over from Ronny Deila but the Scottish champions recovered in the second-leg at Parkhead with a 3-0 win before eventually reaching the group stages.
Christie is “absolutely” confident that the Gibraltar shock was a one-off under the former Swansea and Liverpool boss, whose side are unbeaten domestically with the Betfred Cup already in the trophy room
He said: “It was a long time ago and our very first game under a new manager.
“I think it is fair to say we are a very different team now than back then.
“It was a very frustrating game and afterwards everyone’s head was down but thankfully we put it right in the second leg.
“It was very early days in the season but we have gelled as a group and come along since then so it certainly won’t be in our heads.
“But in the same way there is a big gulf between the teams so we have to make sure we are completely at it.
“We have to treat it as a normal game. We have had a great attitude in every game, we will prepare as we do every week.
“We have come up against Barcelona and Man City this season and people think it is hard in these games but you have to treat these games the same, that’s the way you become successful.”
Christie, who won the Scottish Cup with Inverness in 2015, has been on the fringes since making his debut a year ago but insists he is ready to stake a claim for a regular first-team place at Parkhead.
He said: “I need to keep patient. This is the time for me to shine and hopefully make an impression.
“I certainly knew I would have to work to get into the first team and I still have that mind-set.
“I feel I am ready to step in and make a real impact.”
Defender Erik Sviatchenko is suspended for tomorrow’s game.
Left-back Kieran Tierney is available after recovering from ankle and shoulder injuries which has kept him out since October.
Striker Leigh Griffiths is a doubt with a calf problem while 19-year-old Kouassi Eboue, who signed in a £2.8million move from Russian side Kuban Krasnodar will not be available as his visa has just been granted.