Celtic predicted lineup vs St Johnstone: Return to successful system

By John Reid

February 29, 2020

Celtic return to action on Sunday in a game which is now one of the biggest of the season, the Scottish Cup quarter-final trip to Perth to play St Johnstone.

It was always going to be an important game, as it is a cup quarter-final, but it has taken on a new dimension as it follows fast on the back of the Hoops’ disappointing 3-1 loss to Copenhagen in the Europa League.

The Hoops now only have domestic matters to focus on. Neil Lennon and his players will be determined to bounce back from the European exit to get back to winning ways.

With that in mind, we predict that Neil Lennon will make four changes from the team that lost to Copenhagen, and will also revert to the 3-5-2/3-4-1-2 formation which has worked so well domestically.

With that in mind, lets examine who we think will start the game:

The team

In goals, as it will be until the end of the season – unless he suffers an injury – is Fraser Forster. Now the changes.

As we predict it will be a 3-5-2/3-4-1-2, we expect Kristoffer Ajer to return to his natural centre-back position, partnering Christopher Jullien. Alongside that duo will be Nir Bitton, replacing Jozo Simunovic who didn’t have the best of games against Copenhagen.

Celtic’s Nir Bitton (Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now on to the wings. On the left, we predict that Jonny Hayes will return to the side, in place of Greg Taylor, with James Forrest keeping his place on the right-side.

In the middle of the pitch, the usual duo of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will be charged with winning the ball in the middle of the park.

Just in front of them, in an attacking midfield role, Ryan Christie will return to the side, after missing the game against Copenhagen due to suspension.

Duo reunited for Hoops

Up-front, the prolific duo of Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths will be reunited, as the Hoops attempt to get the goals to book a Hampden Park semi-final.

Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard / (Photo by NIELS CHRISTIAN VILMANN/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

This team should be more than good enough to get Celtic back to winning ways, following the defeat to Copenhagen.

As usual, here is the team in list form:

GK – Fraser Forster

RCB – Nir Bitton

CB – Christopher Jullien

LCB – Kristoffer Ajer

RWB – James Forrest

CM – Scott Brown

CM – Callum McGregor

ACM – Ryan Christie

LWB – Jonny Hayes

ST – Leigh Griffiths

ST – Odsonne Edouard

Will that team get Celtic back to winning ways? What changes would you make? Share your thoughts below with a comment in our new discussion forum…