With several key questions needing answered tonight, who should Celtic start in Athens tonight?
Brendan Rodgers’ men are tied at 1-1 with the Greek Champions heading into a must-win second leg tonight away from home. AEK also looked the part at Celtic Park, and will provide the Hoops with stiff competition.
Confidence around the club has been slowly sapping in recent days. The failure to sign up John McGinn was followed by an unsatisfying 1-1 home draw to AEK last week. Rodgers’ side then went down 1-0 at Tynecastle on Saturday before the Dedryck Boyata fiasco broke out.
The Belgian centre-back is certainly someone who won’t be taking part tonight. The defender has chosen to stay at home as he tries to angle for a move away. Therefore, Rodgers would be as well not bothering with the former Manchester City man at this stage.
The concerns for Celtic is that options at the back are sparse. Fans haven’t taken to either Jack Hendry or Jozo Simunovic. However, this is the pair that will likely start in Greece at the heart of the defence.
The midfield should pick itself, with the usual performers in Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham returning to the fold. Callum McGregor would also be expected to slot in, with James Forrest and Tom Rogic surely being called up.
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A big blow could occur with the potential loss of Odsonne Edouard for tonight’s match. The record £9million signing sat out training in Greece and is a strong doubt for tonight.
This would leave Leigh Griffiths as the only fully-fit striker. Moussa Dembele should also be available from the bench, but it’ll be down to Griffiths to fire Celtic to glory.
Here’s a look at tonight’s predicted starting XI:
CRAIG GORDON (GK)
MIKAEL LUSTIG (RB)
JACK HENDRY (CB)
JOZO SIMUNOVIC (CB)
KIERAN TIERNEY (LB)
SCOTT BROWN (CDM)
OLIVIER NTCHAM (CDM)
JAMES FORREST (RM)
TOM ROGIC (CAM)
CALLUM MCGREGOR (LM)
LEIGH GRIFFITHS (ST)