Turnbull gets chance, attacking trio; Celtic Predicted XI vs Ross County

By John McGinley

August 6, 2022

Celtic face Ross County in the Scottish Premiership this afternoon in the Bhoys’ first away game of the 2022/23 season.

After a comprehensive 2-0 victory at home to Aberdeen last week, Ange Postecoglou is looking to make it six points from six and really send out a message that his team are going to continue on from the fine form of last term.

Celtic won on both trips to Dingwall last season, but Malky Mackay will have his team set up aggressively and difficult to beat again. What kind of team will the Bhoys boss field today? Here’s our best go at a predicted XI…

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Joe Hart is the smart pick to continue in goal. He didn’t have an especially busy game against the Dons but did what he had to do well.

A defensive four of Josip Juranovic, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stephen Welsh and Greg Taylor looks like what the manager will go with again too.

Carl Starfelt has been back in training for a full week, Postecoglou revealed in his press conference yesterday, but it sounded like next week would be more likely to bring the Swede back into the starting eleven.

Callum McGregor is a stick-on to start at the base of Ange’s midfield as club and team captain, but the combination ahead of him will change from the Dons test.

Reo Hatate is a confirmed absentee today after picking up a couple of knocks at Celtic Park, with 23-year-old David Turnbull the most likely candidate to come in and replace him. Matt O’Riley, who looked very sharp on Sunday, should start alongside him.

Turnbull looked ready to go after making a fine impact as a substitute against Aberdeen. The Scotland international will add real creative flair and a goal threat to today’s performance.

There will be calls from some supporters to bring in Giorgos Giakoumakis and Liel Abada into today’s attack after lively cameos off the bench last week but I actually think an unchanged three of Jota, Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi will give Celtic the best chance of victory today.

WARSAW, POLAND – 2022/07/20: Daizen Maeda of Celtic FC seen in action during the friendly match between Legia Warszawa and Celtic FC at Marshal Jozef Pilsudski Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium. This match was the last in the career of Artur Boruc (the goalkeeper played in the past for Legia Warszawa and Celtic FC). Final score; Legia Warszawa 2:2 Celtic FC. (Photo by Mikolaj Barbanell/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kyogo scored on the last trip to Dingwall, while Maeda was also impressive in that one. Celtic enjoyed 74% possession away to Ross County in April, partly thanks to the hustling and harrying of the attacking press, which Maeda is so crucial to.

With Abada and Giakoumakis on the bench ready to change the game if we need them to, Postecoglou has incredibly strong options.

Your Predicted XI in full is: Hart, Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Taylor, McGregor, Turnbull, O’Riley, Jota, Maeda, Kyogo.