Celtic vs West Ham United – Everything you need to know


West Ham United continue their preparations for the 2021/22 season with a tough pre-season fixture against the Scottish Celtic Premiership at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Hammers will play their fifth warm-up of the summer at Celtic Park, having already won 3-0 at Reading and 2-1 at Northampton Town and drawn 2-2 and 0-0 at Dundee and Leyton Orient respectively .

51-time Scottish champions Celtic have already kicked off their competitive campaign, drawing 1-1 with Danes FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round at Celtic Park on Tuesday evening.

The Irons will be wearing their new Umbro Home kit for the second time in Scotland, and you can get your hands on it now either by visit our online store here, or by visiting one of our four official club stores.

Some 18,000 Celtic supporters will be in attendance on Saturday, but please note that NO away tickets are available to West Ham United fans, in accordance with COVID restrictions still in place in Scotland, and supporters are advised to do not travel to Glasgow.

However, you can follow the match live via whufc.com and our social networks.

Team news

Longtime Celtic fan and former Bhoys defender David Moyes potentially welcomes Łukasz Fabiański back to his squad of the day, as the Polish international goalkeeper resumed training at Rush Green this week.

Five first-team players remain on international assignment or on hiatus after UEFA Euro 2020 – Winston Reid is at the Tokyo Olympics with New Zealand, while Declan Rice, Vladimír Coufal, Tomáš Souček and Andriy Yarmolenko recover after having excelled in their respective countries at the euro.

Łukasz Fabiański is back for preseason training this week

Celtic have new manager in Australia, Ange Postecoglou, who has sought to freshen things up after seeing Rangers run away with the Scottish Premiership title last season.

Postecoglu signed midfielder Liam Shaw and defender Osaze Urhoghide from Sheffield on Wednesday, striker Joey Dawson from Scunthorpe United, Israel international striker Liel Abada from Maccabi Petah Tikva, Japanese forward Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe, the Irish midfielder Bosun Lawal from Watford and Swedish defender Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan.

Celtic’s squad also includes former West Ham striker Albian Ajeti.

The opposition – Celtic

Celtic FC was founded in a church hall by Irish Marist Brother Walfrid on November 6, 1887, with the aim of reducing poverty in Glasgow’s East End by raising funds for the charity Walfrid had established, the Poor Children’s Dinner Table.

Brother Walfrid, originally from County Sligo and real name Andrew Kerins, recently forged close ties with East London, where he continued his work, hosting football matches and showing great kindness to the children of Bethnal Green and Bow.

Returning to Celtic, the new football club won their first game against the team that would become their biggest rival, the Rangers, 5-2 in a friendly match in May 1888.

Since then, the pair have fought for supremacy, locally and nationally, with Celtic winning 51 Scottish titles, 40 Scottish Cups, 19 Scottish League Cups – including seven national trebles – and, famously, a European Cup by beating Inter Milan in Lisbon in 1967.

Celtic won the European Cup in 1967
Celtic won the European Cup in 1967 by beating Inter Milan

However, in 2020/21, Rangers ended Celtic’s bid for a tenth consecutive Scottish Premiership title and the Bhoys finished a season without a trophy for the first time since 2009/10.

Regardless, the club have a huge fan base around the world, while Celtic’s influence is seen in the number of clubs that have taken their names as part of their own.

With a capacity of 60,411, Celtic Stadium in the city’s Parkhead district is Scotland’s largest football ground and the UK’s sixth largest football stadium.

Previous meetings

The Hammers have only visited Celtic Park once before, when Harry Redknapp’s side faced the Martin O’Neill Hoops in a friendly in July 2000.

Paolo Di Canio, who played for Celtic in the 1996/97 season, scored on his return to Glasgow, but goals from Tommy Johnson and Stiliyan Petrov helped the home side win 2-1.

West Ham have also hosted Celtic in east London on three occasions, most notably for Bobby Moore’s testimonial match in 1970, when Geoff Hurst, Johnny Ayris and Clyde Best scored for the East Londoners in a 3-3 draw.

Bobby Lennox scores for Celtic at Boleyn Ground in 1970
Bobby Lennox scores for Celtic at Boleyn Ground in 1970

Previous friendlies in 1924 and 1949 ended in a 2-2 draw and a 5-2 victory over West Ham, respectively.

In addition to current Celtic player Albian Ajeti, players who played for both clubs included Frank McAvennie, Billy Grassam, John Hartson, Craig Bellamy, Eyal Berkovic, Ian Wright, Marc Rieper, Stuart Slater, Di Canio, Carlton Cole, John Cushley and Jérémie Aliadière.

How can I follow the game?

As mentioned, only 18,000 home fans will be admitted to Celtic Park, with no West Ham United supporters allowed to attend Saturday’s game.

However, you can follow the proceedings on whufc.com and our social media, followed by post-match reactions, goals and detailed highlights.

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