With a pair of must-win games on the horizon, we take a look at the potential starting XI against Suduva.
Celtic are coming into their most important week of the season so far. Failing to beat either Suduva or Rangers would spell embarrassment for the club.
It’s been a tough period for all concern at Celtic, and a pair of big wins would get the fans on-side once more. Next up is the second-leg of their Europa League clash against Suduva, having drawn 1-1 in Lithuania.
Brendan Rodgers’ squad could certainly use some more strength in depth. However, for now he has to roll with what he has.
Celtic went with a back three against Hamilton, and may very well do so once more against Suduva. Celtic will be on the front foot for large swathes of this one, and certainly don’t need four men in defence.
Mikael Lustig came in down the right for Cristian Gamboa on Sunday, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Gamboa experiment is over.
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Despite making two assists against Partick, he wasn’t impressive throughout the 90. The Costa Rica international then followed that up with an abject display against Suduva in Lithuania.
For now, it appears Lustig is back in the side to stay.
The big question mark will once again fall on Dedryck Boyata. However, the Belgian was eased back into action against Hamilton and is highly likely to play on Thursday night (should Celtic not sell him).
There are options in the midfield, and Rodgers may rest one or two for the tie against Rangers. Celtic should have more than enough for Suduva to see them off with a couple of players resting.
Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic, for example, could easily drop out and Celtic would have enough to win this one. Bearing in mind the Hoops only need a 0-0 to progress, the tie is well in their favour.
Of course, Celtic want a resounding win to take into Sunday’s Glasgow derby.
Therefore, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor could slot into the midfield with Rogic. James Forrest and Kieran Tierney would be expected to be on either side.
Odsonne Edouard provided a timely return to training in a Twitter post last night. The former PSG prodigy started the season on fire before picking up a hamstring knock.
Tomorrow night, however, may be too early to throw him back in. A substitute appearance wouldn’t be surprising, but Rodgers may go for Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele once more.
Below is our predicted XI in full for Thursday night:
CRAIG GORDON (GK)
MIKAEL LUSTIG (CB)
DEDRYCK BOYATA (CB)
KRISTOFFER AJER (CB)
JAMES FORREST (RM)
SCOTT BROWN (CM)
TOM ROGIC (CM)
CALLUM MCGREGOR (CM)
KIERAN TIERNEY (LM)
LEIGH GRIFFITHS (ST)
MOUSSA DEMBELE (ST)