3 changes from derby win, big attacking return; Celtic Predicted XI vs Motherwell

By John McGinley

February 6, 2022

Celtic are right back to the bread-and-butter of the Scottish Premiership today after the morale-boosting win over Rangers on Wednesday night.

Today’s encounter away to Motherwell will be a bit more low-key than the drama and atmosphere of the derby but it’s no less important.

Ultimately it’s the same three points on offer and it’s a must-win occasion if Celtic want to maintain a lead at the top of the table.

Thankfully, manager Ange Postecoglou is boosted by a number of players returning to contention for the fixture, giving him the chance to rotate the eleven without sacrificing on quality.

So what eleven will he go for? Here’s our best guess…

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic Predicted XI vs Motherwell

Joe Hart is undoubtedly going to start given his importance to the team this season. He didn’t have an especially busy night against Rangers but could be called into action today as the Steelmen try to prove a point against the league leaders.

Postecoglou’s defensive unit of Josip Juranovic, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Greg Taylor is the best in the country and I don’t see him changing it up today. They’re all in form and working together exceptionally well.

In midfield is where I see the start of changes. Callum McGregor was fantastic on Wednesday night but with a busy schedule ahead and a trip to Pittodrie mid-week, I could see the manager allowing his cheekbone to heal a bit further behind that facemask.

Nir Bitton returns from suspension and is more than capable of performing that deeper midfield role.

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Tom Rogic could also make a return in attacking midfield, pairing up with Reo Hatate. Matt O’Riley has had a lightning start in the team but the manager could feel taking him out of the limelight and letting Rogic take up the creative task is a good way to go for the 21-year-old.

I would be surprised if Jota and Liel Abada didn’t start on each wing though given their devastating potential to win matches.

That leaves Daizen Maeda to make a triumphant return to the eleven too after featuring off the bench against Rangers despite only arriving in the country on Wednesday morning. Giorgos Giakoumakis has been effective, but Maeda is the dangerman to trust today.

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

In other news, Sutton noticed class Callum McGregor moment you may have missed at Celtic Park on Wednesday.