Neil Lennon has announced his Celtic team for today’s match at home to AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League, as per the official club’s Twitter account.
The full matchday squad is as follows:
Starting XI – Barkas, Welsh, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Laxalt, Griffiths, Ajeti
Substitutes – Bain, Hazard, Taylor, Klimala, Soro, Turnbull, Christie, Rogic, Elyounoussi, Henderson, Dembele
Bold two-striker system by Lennon
The main talking point will be the introduction of both Leigh Griffiths and Albian Ajeti as Lennon looks to take the game to the Serie A leaders.
Another major factor of Lennon’s team is the European debut of Stephen Welsh, who impressed in his Glasgow derby debut on Saturday. His appearance alongside Kristoffer Ajer and Shane Duffy tonight should be a tremendous experience for him.
Elsewhere there aren’t too many other surprises. It’s perhaps a bit of a shock that Olivier Ntcham keeps his place given how poor he was vs Rangers. But with Ryan Christie only just back in the squad after self-isolating for two weeks, you wonder who Lennon could’ve chosen as an alternative.
It’s also a touch surprising that Lennon has continued to stick with the 3-5-2 against such top-class opposition. But this shows the manager’s eagerness to get the squad more used to the system.
It remains a strong bench tonight for Celtic. The likes of David Turnbull, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Christie, Tom Rogic, and Patryk Klimala are all available if Lennon needs another attacking option.
Tonight’s game is being broadcast live in the UK and Ireland on BT Sport 3, with an 8pm kick-off time (Celtic Park Time). This is the only place to view the match live for those in the UK/Ireland.
Given it’s a European tie, the game will not be shown live on the club’s “Pass to Paradise” streaming service for season ticket holders.
Celtic TV also won’t be showing the game live regardless of where subscribers live. Instead, they will be offering a commentary service of the game, with an 11pm holdback before the video is published.
Alternatively, you can follow live text updates of Celtic’s game on the BBC Scotland website, who will be keeping fans up to date on both Scottish clubs in Europe tonight.
As expected, many fans are looking forward to seeing how the new striking partnership clicks together.
For the first time this season, we’re going to see what the Ajeti-Griffiths duo is all about. Regardless of the opposition, that’s a brilliant prospect for a support that could do with a pick-me-up after Saturday.
As expected, given the general mood around the club at the moment, there is still a concern about what could go wrong tonight. However, that was always going to be the case regardless of who the manager chose in his team selection.
All we can do now is hope we can get at Milan with our two-striker system. And considering that the two forwards are genuine strikers – that alone gives the support reason for optimism.
Here’s a look at some of the reaction to the team below:
How was that no Saturdays team https://t.co/NipRj7arBJ
— Ben Miller (@bendomiller) October 22, 2020
— B A | L E Y 🎃 (@waguymean) October 22, 2020
2 strikers, better late than never 🍀 https://t.co/1fbH4p7IXM
— Ciarán Farrell (@CiaranF96) October 22, 2020
Happy with that, will be more balanced Edouard is back. https://t.co/fRqLBdYa55
— . (@liamcsc) October 22, 2020
Honestly my dream lineup for tonight! Cmon Bhoys🍀 HH https://t.co/KI3NnIYBB0
— Jack Paterson🏴🇸🇩🇮🇸 (@jackpaterson27) October 22, 2020
Griffiths and Ajeti up top is what we’ve been calling for for ages. Ntcham shouldn’t be playing tho https://t.co/9VIjvsAgKs
— Cole (@cole67_) October 22, 2020
Two actual strikers up front. People saying 3-5-2 isn’t working this season but we haven’t did it with two recognised strikers. Bring it on 🍀
— Patrick Murphy (@PatrickMurphy89) October 22, 2020
👏👏 COYBIG. IGNORE all the negativity and focus on the game. True supporters will always be win, lose or draw. Wish I was walking up to the stadium just now 😭. HH YNWA 🍀🍀
— G.R (@RenfrewGhirl85) October 22, 2020