Celtic’s starting XI sees a surprise start for young hotshot Ewan Henderson.
The academy graduate has made two appearances for the Hoops this season. Yet, considering those were home clashes against St Mirren and Motherwell respectively, it’s fair to say he partook in simple fixtures to start off with.
Yet, tonight, in the cauldron of Tynecastle, John Kennedy has backed Henderson by starting him.
Neil Lennon hasn’t confirmed whether he’ll be in the dugout tonight but did state that Kennedy has done all of the prep ahead of the match.
It’s evident when you look in the starting XI that it carries on from Brendan Rodgers’ reign. Oliver Burke comes in for Odsonne Edouard, but other than that, there’s been no unexpected changes.
Scott Brown makes his return from suspension. Given the injuries to Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor, however, it looks like Henderson could be playing as a number 10. You can view the starting XI here.
Nir Bitton, as expected, continues his renaissance with another start too. This match provides a stern test of the likes of Bitton’s and Henderson’s true credentials. Hendo will be looking to keep up his run of two assists in two starts as well.
A true test for fringe men
Tonight is going to be a tough slog. Hearts always turn matches into a scrap at Tynecastle, and Celtic have lost in two of their last three visits there.
There’s plenty of firepower to choose from off the bench if necessary. The likes of Edouard, Mikey Johnston, Timothy Weah, and Jonny Hayes are all available as forward selections. But it will be interesting to see what Kennedy does differently tonight, if anything, from Rodgers’ tactics.
It’s also unclear as to how big of an influence Lennon will have at all on the match. He may have some scope to make decisions or he may have banned himself from doing anything. At this point, it’s all just speculation.
But this remains a Celtic side, whilst patched up, that should still go to Hearts and pick up three points.
If they do, you can expect the supporters to suddenly start feeling a lot more optimistic about life after Rodgers. Football is, after all, a simple game.