First start, 6 changes total; Predicted Celtic XI vs Alloa

By John McGinley

January 22, 2022

Celtic are back in action this evening, away to Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup fourth round.

No other club in Scottish football history has won this tournament more than Celtic, with the Bhoys hoping to add another to the honours list this season. After lifting the Scottish League Cup in December, there’s every chance for Ange Postecoglou and his squad.

First though, a potential cup upset must be avoided against a very motivated Alloa, who are led by former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Postecoglou has confirmed he will be rotating his side and giving game time to those who need it. However, I am expecting it to be stronger than many think. It certainly won’t be a team full of kids. So who will get the nod? Here’s our best estimate…

You may expect Joe Hart to be one of those sitting out today. Some managers like to play cup goalkeepers. However, it’s worth noting that Hart played in all of our League Cup matches this season, including at home to Raith Rovers. I’d expect him to get the nod again today.

The defensive line is likely to be changed significantly given the schedule ahead. I’d love to see Anthony Ralston come back into the team, as well as Stephen Welsh. Liam Scales is also a great candidate to get a match under his belt.

Jota and Rogic net awards as O’Riley impresses in early interview | Alloa vs Celtic Preview

Jota and Rogic net awards as O’Riley impresses in early interview | Alloa vs Celtic Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

However, I would keep Cameron Carter-Vickers in the side, just to have a bit of stability there. Christopher Jullien is a real contender to feature on the bench today.

In midfielder, it’d be fantastic if Yosuke Ideguchi got his first start in a Celtic start after an impressive cameo off the bench on Monday night.

I also don’t want to rob Celtic fans of Reo Hatate magic, so he gets the nod for me, alongside Tom Rogic who will be off on Australia duty after today’s match. Postecoglou has revealed Matt O’Riley won’t feature.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Some may argue it’d be madness to give Jota a game on an artificial pitch, but this seems like a great game to ease him back into Celtic action following injury. Alongside James Forrest on the opposite flank, we’d have a real threat on the wings.

That leaves Giorgos Giakoumakis to get a huge opportunity to impress. With Daizen Maeda off on Japan duty and Kyogo Furuhashi injured, now is the time for the Greek striker to step up.

Your predicted XI in full is: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Scales, Ideguchi, Hatate, Rogic, Forrest, Jota, Giakoumakis.

In other news, Anticipated Celtic debut prevented by red tape, Ange confirms.