The aftermath of Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw between Livingston and Celtic mainly focused on the future of Neil Lennon. That was always likely to be the case, no matter what the score was.

However, Livingston’s display in the game shouldn’t be underestimated. Especially when you consider that David Martindale made seven changes from the team that had drawn 0-0 with Celtic last weekend.

Martindale obviously made those changes with Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final against St Mirren in mind. But one of those changes made could have earned himself a spot in Livingston’s starting line-up for Hampden Park.

Caused Celtic no end of problems

That player is Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. The former Arsenal starlet caused Celtic all kinds of problems in the game. He was a constant threat to the Celtic defence, and deservedly scored Livingston’s second goal to earn the team a point.

Livingston v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Livingston’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas scores against Celtic (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Emmanuel-Thomas has been in and out of the Livingston starting line-up this season. But perhaps it was significant that he was substituted in the 67th minute. Only seven minutes after he fired home the equaliser.

A sign that the player will start?

That could be a sign that Martindale wanted to rest the 30-year-old before he names the team for Hampden. That could mean that Thomas gets the nod to start against St Mirren.

Livingston v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas celebrates his goal against Celtic (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin was a pundit for Sky Sports at the match. He will have seen just how well Emmanuel-Thomas performed in the game. He might well be expecting the player to start the match.

Maybe Martindale will instead decide to use the player as an impact substitute at Hampden instead. Still, after his display against Celtic, Emmanuel-Thomas has a real chance of a Hampden Park start.

NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.


Have something to tell us about this article?