Celtic line-up v Livingston confirmed: Barkas starts, Eddy out, TV details, fans react
Celtic have announced their line-up for tonight’s meeting with Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena tonight, via Twitter.
The full match squad is as follows:
Starting XI – Barkas, Taylor, Duffy, Button, Ajer, Soro, McGregor (C), Elyounoussi, Turnbull, Christie, Griffiths
Substitutions – Bain, Brown, Ajeti, Klimala, Rogic, Johnston, Frimpong, Welsh, Laxalt
Celtic welcome back a litany of players, following an enforced absence under Coronavirus protocols. The defence is a surprise, with Ajer presumably playing on the right of a back 4.
Edouard isn’t in the match-day squad, which will give credence to any claims he might be the mystery 2nd player who tested positive for Coronavirus.
Hazard doesn’t feature at all, with Neil Lennon preferring Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas.
The bench looks more familiar, with Laxalt and Frimpong rested after their efforts at the weekend.
Stephen Welsh remains out of the starting XI, while Leigh Griffiths gets a huge opportunity up front. Elyounoussi makes a return in an attacking 4-2-3-1, with Christie set to start on the right.
There had been concerns that the match wouldn’t go ahead, with fans taking to social media to discuss the West Lothian weather.
BBC man Kheredine Idessane confirmed that the match would be going ahead, despite concerns about the conditions.
I see a few folk wondering if @LiviFCOfficial v @CelticFC is going ahead : as of 1535, the game is ON with no requirement or expectation of a pitch inspection. And it’s live on @BBCSportsound @BBCSportScot ; coverage starts at 6pm @BBCRadioScot
— @Kheredine (@Kheredine2018) January 20, 2021
However, save for any last-minute changes, the Bhoys will take on David Martindale’s side for the second time in a week. For Celtic, it’s a huge opportunity to make a dent on the deficit at the top of the table.
Prior to Saturday’s clash, Martindale’s Livi side had won 8 consecutive matches stretching back to November.
Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football will be broadcasting the game live. The ‘Pass to Paradise’ will not be in use tonight, with Sky having exclusive UK and Ireland broadcasting rights.
For viewers outside the UK and Ireland, Celtic TV will be broadcasting the match.
Those unable to watch can listen to live coverage on Radio Scotland, as well as text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.
Fan reaction to Celtic line-up v Livingston
It’s a more familiar feeling for Celtic supporters against Livingston tonight. This is a strong Bhoys’ team, although there are controversial choices in there.
Dropping Hazard after keeping a clean sheet at the weekend seems harsh, while Edouard’s absence will only fuel the rumour mill.
Fans reacted to the line-up news on Twitter.
Dissapointed not to see the new lad start. Hope Lennon puts some trust in him soon pic.twitter.com/MYsxjx90Kl
— Shane (@Connell_O_Shane) January 20, 2021
Duffy no where good enough for Celtic, should be benched until he returns to Brighton. Welsh needs more big games under his belt, now is the opportunity.
— Hoopylad67 (@Hoopylad671) January 20, 2021
Love seein Griffiths in the starting line up.
— paul stewart (@paulste82321460) January 20, 2021
— Ryan Mack (@RyanMack7_) January 20, 2021
— beatsurrender (@beatsurrender67) January 20, 2021
Come on Duffy! Big mans gonna score 2 tonight
— Tommasi (@cydzb) January 20, 2021
Mon eh Selik! 🙌🏻🍀🇮🇪
— Scott (@harveybhoy26) January 20, 2021