Celtic Predicted XI vs Dundee (H)

By David Walton

December 20, 2018

After a top-of-the-table win over Motherwell on Wednesday night, we have a stab at a predicted XI to face Dundee on Saturday.

The Dee come into the game having lost their recent momentum. On the back of a 5-1 mauling off of Aberdeen, Celtic have to fancy coming away from this one with a convincing success.

The Hoops, of course, have several players on the verge of comebacks over the coming days. Which of those could possibly make the starting line-up against Dundee?

As well as that, the emergence of some breakthrough talent took a step forward against Motherwell. Anthony Ralston and Mikey Johnston both featured and scored against the Steelmen. Will either start again on Saturday?

Anthony Ralston could drop out again for Mikael Lustig (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

As usual, Gordon will be between the sticks with Kieran Tierney and Filip Benkovic occupying left-back and centre-back respectively. Tierney was still recovering from a slight knock on Wednesday, but hopefully that clears up for the weekend.

We’re going to make a bold prediction here and say that Dedryck Boyata will be back partnering Benkovic on Saturday. The Belgian hasn’t been seen since the Betfred Cup win over Aberdeen. With huge games coming up against Aberdeen and Rangers respectively, Brendan Rodgers may wish to ease him back in.

And that could also be the case for Mikael Lustig, who picked up a knock in the RB Salzburg defeat. That means Ralston would unfortunately drop out for now.

Is the captain back for good?

Scott Brown made his 500th appearance against Motherwell. We’re going to say that he needs to wait for 501. That’s because Ryan Christie is closing in on a return, and he could very well partner Callum McGregor in the holding roles.

The front three is a tough one. James Forrest is the only one who picks himself. Johnston, however, scored a stunning goal from the bench against Motherwell after a similarly impressive cameo against Hibs. Despite Scott Sinclair bagging a penalty against the Steelmen, we’ll say Johnston will start down the left as a reward for his impressive cameos.

Mikey Johnston looks set for another run in the side (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Olivier Ntcham performed well enough against Motherwell, and could start this one too.

Odsonne Edouard felt something in the first half on Wednesday that forced him off. Rodgers has yet to reveal what it is, and is likely to take every precaution with more difficult games coming up.

That means that Sinclair will get a chance as the false-nine – completing our predicted XI.

Below is the full XI:

GK – Craig Gordon

RB – Mikael Lustig

CB – Filip Benkovic

CB – Dedryck Boyata

LB – Kieran Tierney

CDM – Ryan Christie

CDM – Callum McGregor

RM – James Forrest

CAM – Olivier Ntcham

LM – Mikey Johnston

ST – Scott Sinclair