3 changes as Ange unleashes winger; Celtic Predicted XI vs Dundee United

By John McGinley

March 14, 2022

It’s been a long wait to watch Celtic after a thumping victory over Livingston last week, but the Bhoys are back in action tonight.

Ange Postecoglou’s side travels to Tannadice to take on Dundee United in the Scottish Cup quarter-final, hoping to join Hearts, Hibs and Rangers in the Hampden semis.

It won’t be an easy game – United have made it difficult for us at times this season – but there’s no reason to think the intensity and focus from Celtic will be reduced from the recent Livi clash. The squad is in excellent shape and with no mid-week fixture, everyone should be fresh.

But what kind of XI will Postecoglou go for? Here’s our best guess…

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Joe Hart is a certainty between the sticks. Postecoglou hasn’t opted to have a ‘cup goalkeeper’ this season as we sometimes see. Hart is number one and if he’s available, he plays, that’s it.

In defence, I’m expecting to see Josip Juranovic come back into contention, joining Cameron-Carter Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Greg Taylor in our strongest four.

As for midfield, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Nir Bitton retain his spot but I reckon Callum McGregor will switch back to the number six role.

That leaves room for Reo Hatate to come back into the eleven alongside Tom Rogic. Tonight’s match is expected to be a bit more open than a league encounter and these two can undoubtedly exploit any space between the United lines.

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Out wide, I’d love to see Jota follow up his superb display in West Lothian with another on the road tonight. It might feel harsh to drop James Forrest but I fancy Liel Abada for this one, who has a point to prove in terms of being first-choice on the right.

Abada already also has two goals against United this term, so knows the ways to get at Tam Courts side.

One of the big calls will be in attack where I reckon Daizen Maeda will get the nod over Giorgos Giakoumakis. Maeda was excellent against Livingston and his efforts really give us a chance to throttle United before they get going out of their own half.

Your predicted XI in full is: Hart, Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, Rogic, Abada, Jota, Maeda.

In other news, B team set for big Celtic Park derby, North Curve open.