Predicted Celtic XI vs Partick Thistle: No start for Patryk Klimala

By John Reid

January 17, 2020

Celtic return to action following the winter break with a trip to Firhill to play Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup on Saturday evening.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon will be eager to get the Hoops back to winning ways following the loss to Rangers in the last game before the break.

A comfortable win over the struggling Championship side would be a good start to the second-half of the season for Hoops, ahead of what is a busy schedule of games for the Scottish Champions.

Here are the players we think will start the game for the Hoops.

There is no doubt that Fraser Forster will start for in goals for Celtic. He is by far the best goalkeeper at the club. Neil Lennon will resist the temptation to rotate the goalkeeping position.

Return for full-back

Jonny Hayes in action for Celtic (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

At right-back, Jeremie Frimpong will keep his place in the side. Whilst Jonny Hayes will return at left-back, after a poor showing by Boli Bolingoli in the loss to Rangers.

The centre-backs will stay the same as they have been for the majority of the season. That is, the pairing of Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien.

There will be changes in the middle of the park from the team that lost to Rangers. For a start, Ryan Christie is injured. Before we address who will replace him, it is time to look at the middle of the park.

Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will keep their place in the middle of the park, as they aim to return the Hoops back to winning ways.

We are going for Olivier Ntcham to return to the starting line-up to replace Christie. The £4.5 million man was perhaps unexpectedly left out against Rangers, and Neil Lennon won’t want to make that mistake again.

Chance to atone for poor display

James Forrest of Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

On the wings, James Forrest and Mikey Johnston deserve the chance to atone for their poor displays against Rangers, and they will get the nod to start.

As for the striking situation, Celtic now have a new option to choose from. The recent signing Patryk Klimala will presumably be available for section. However, the game will come too soon for the £3.5 million man, who will have to be satisfied with a place on the bench.

As for who will start up-front for Celtic, there is only one option – Odsonne Edouard.

Here is the team we predict will start for Celtic against Partick in the Scottish Cup:

Our predicted XI

Fraser Forster; Jeremie Frimpong, Christopher Jullien, Kristoffer Ajer, Jonny Hayes; Scott Brown, Callum McGregor; Mikey Johnston, Olivier Ntcham, James Forrest; Odsonne Edouard