Celtic are back in amongst it in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday evening as we take on Feyenoord.
A trip to the Eredivisie champions is hardly an easy start. But there are no easy games at this level of European football. If we have designs on making it to the last 16 of the Champions League, we could probably do with earning a positive result.
With three players earning their Hoops debuts on Saturday, and Reo Hatate making a big impression on his return, Brendan Rodgers suddenly has some good options at his disposal. We may need them.
Joe Hart will start the game in goal, looking for his third straight clean sheet.
In front of him, Alistair Johnston is set to make his debut in the competition at long last. The makeup of the central defensive partnership will likely depend on Nat Phillips’ condition.
“Nat has rolled his ankle so we just have to see on that,” was Rodgers’ update on Monday (Celtic). It hardly sounded too promising so we reckon we could see Gustaf Lagerbielke and Liam Scales together again. Greg Taylor will be the left-back.
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Callum McGregor will take up a spot in midfield. Matt O’Riley‘s impressive recent form makes him hard to drop and we think Rodgers will go for the quality of Reo Hatate from the start.
Strangely enough, it would be the Japanese star’s first competitive start under the former Leicester City boss. David Turnbull, Paulo Bernardo and Odin Thiago Holm could also play a part at some stage.
Liel Abada’s absence does leave a bit of a gap for these major games. Hyunjun Yang got the nod against Dundee on Saturday but we wonder if Daizen Maeda‘s stint on the right was a precursor for what’s to come.
That would open up the left for Luis Palma, with Kyogo Furuhashi through the middle. After coming on as a second-half substitute on Saturday, it would be great to see Palma unleashed on the European stage.
Overall, it’s not going to be a perfect team. We may well be scratching our heads a little when it is released, given the state of the squad at present. But we still have more than enough good players to go out and get a positive result.
Your Predicted XI in full: Hart, Johnston, Lagerbielke, Scales, Taylor, McGregor, O’Riley, Hatate, Maeda, Palma, Kyogo.