Predicted Celtic XI vs Hamilton: Formation set to change

By John Reid

February 1, 2020

Celtic are currently in a good run of form as the Hoops head to Hamilton’s artificial pitch on Sunday lunchtime.

Neil Lennon’s side have won their last four games in all competitions, and sit clear at the top of the Premiership table.

However, a trip to Hamilton is never easy, and you expect this game to be no different. Celtic could be in for a tough game against a stuffy Hamilton side, and the artificial pitch will be a leveller.

Indeed, the Hoops laboured to a 1-0 win in their last visit in September.

You would expect the Hoops boss to pick a very strong side to ensure that the Hoops pick up the three points.

The team

With that in mind, here is the team we predict that Neil Lennon will select to start the game for Celtic:

Due to a combination of injuries and Hamilton’s pitch, we believe that the Hoops boss will change formations, from a 3-5-2 to a 4-3-3.

In goals, as he is every week, will be Fraser Forster, who had probably one of his quietest first-halves of the season against St Johnstone in midweek.

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The centre-back duo that we believe will start the game are Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer, who are surely first picks no matter the formation.

Left-back should pick itself, as Greg Taylor was excellent against St Johnstone, with Moritz Bauer at right-back.

Player on back of great performance has to start

Taylor’s performance against the Perth side was arguably his best yet for the Hoops. As he is in good form he should keep his place in the line-up.

The middle of the park could well decide the game, and the Hoops will want some battlers in the side.

That will combat Hamilton and the artificial pitch. With that in mind, we believe that the trio of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham will start.

On the wings there isn’t that many players to choose from, due to injuries. If Mikey Johnston was fit he would be a choice to start, but as he isn’t we are going for Ryan Christie to join James Forrest as Celtic’s wing men.

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

That might not be Christie’s usual position. However, he has played there for the Hoops before, so there are no worries about his role in the team, and he should make his first Celtic start of 2020.

As for the lone striker, we are going for Leigh Griffiths. It should be remembered that Odsonne Edouard recently had a toe injury.

Therefore, it is not worth risking him on the artificial pitch for more than he needs too. Griffiths is in good form anyway, and has earned his start.

As usual, here is the predicted line-up in list form:

Our Predicted XI:

Fraser Forster, Moritz Bauer, Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer, Greg Taylor; Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, Olivier Ntcham; James Forrest, Ryan Christie, Leigh Griffiths