Celtic’s formation under Brendan Rodgers has been tweaked on occasion, but by and large it’s the same.

Throughout his first two seasons in charge, the Celtic manager adopted a solid 4-2-3-1 structure. When on form, it looked great. The likes of Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor, and Stuart Armstrong were thriving in it.

Nowadays, however, Rodgers seems to have adapted and turned his shape into a 3-4-2-1 in domestic matches. The 4-2-3-1 admittedly got stale, but it’s clear to see this new style is even more laboured and abject when on show.

Celtic were fantastic in Brendan Rodgers’ first year (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The manager has even tinkered with the 3-5-2. Even though that system was destroying opponents early on this season, Celtic seem to have switched from it for some reason.

Here, we take a look at what styles the Celtic manager could adopt to freshen things up once more.


The 3-5-2 is the most obvious one. Celtic, with Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard up front, were dominating games and putting teams to the sword with ease in this style. It looked the right way forward, especially considering supporters had been crying out for two up top.

It also gave Celtic the room to play the likes of Rogic, McGregor, Scott Brown, and Olivier Ntcham in the same side. In truth, it was the perfect formation.

Dedryck Boyata is looking like a rock at the back, and having Kristoffer Ajer and Mikael Lustig/Kieran Tierney in there would suffice.

Yet, when Dembele was injured and then ultimately sold, Celtic haven’t used it since. It’s an experiment worth trying again, as the Hoops looked at their scintillating best when utilising it.


The much-maligned 4-3-3 formation is another that could be of use to the Hoops. This would allow the likes of James Forrest and McGregor/Scott Sinclair to push forward and join the attack.

Scott Sinclair could do with another chance to shine for Celtic (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Too often in recent games has Edouard or Leigh Griffiths seemed isolated up front. That simply has to change and more support is needed. The more forwards Celtic have, the better movement they’ll make in the final third.

Instead, we’ve been forced to watch a lone-striker struggle to keep the ball in recent times.


The old-fashioned 4-4-2 wouldn’t be something to turn your nose up at either.

Given that Celtic need something refreshing, this would allow them to play with a duo up top to complement each other. Granted, the obvious problem with this is that, outside of Scott Brown, you only have one other midfield slot. With McGregor, Rogic, and Ntcham all battling it out for one spot, it wouldn’t be ideal.

However, the Hoops could easily play with advanced wing-backs in Kieran Tierney and Forrest. This would free up the other couple of midfield slots to their flair players.

Rodgers has options in both formation and personnel. If Celtic are to run away with the title this season, then he’s going to have to use them and soon.

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