Brendan Rodgers faces midfield headache against Salzburg

By Connor Gordon

December 13, 2018

Brendan Rodgers has to contest with a selection headache ahead of the Salzburg tie. The manager must decide who to play in the centre of the pitch.

With so many players on form, the one question mark is surrounding Scott Brown.

Does Rodgers play his captain and set up rigidly or keep his firing attackers?

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On paper, Brown should play instead of Tom Rogic or Ryan Christie to keep a structured set up.

Captain Scott Brown could return to the starting 11 against FC Salzburg on Thursday night. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brown can use his experience and defensive capabilities to help Celtic qualify.

The Bhoys have been more attacking domestically recently without Brown but against Salzburg it’s a different kettle of fish.

Nobody has taken points from the Austrians so far; the task is massive.

Who to drop for Brown?

If Brown plays, it will be Rogic or Christie to drop out with Callum McGregor cementing is place.

With both players, they will only get around 70 minutes on the field whereas Brown would play the full game.

Celtic’s Ryan Christie is more versatile than team mate Tom Rogic in midfield. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Christie is the more versatile player and can cover more ground than Rogic. The Scotland international can use his engine to press the Salzburg back four.

Nevertheless, Rogic’s stature and hold up play helps in European fixtures.

Why does anyone need dropped?

This all being said, why does any on-form player need to sit out at all?

The current first team have been playing well and getting results including in Europe against Leipzig and Rosenborg.

There would be no reason to change a winning team as it would be unfair to those losing out.

Playing McGregor, Christie and Rogic at Parkhead isn’t a gamble.

One glaring omission

This conversation also begs the question surrounding Olivier Ntcham.

The Frenchman isn’t even being spoken about to feature against Salzburg.

Olivier Ntcham is unlikely to see action against FC Salzburg due to competition. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Too many players are ahead of him now, but Ntcham may be needed to sure things up. However, that is all game management.

Rodgers is still naive in Europe, so it will be interesting to see who plays and who doesn’t and whether it is the right choice.