Neil Lennon has named his team to face Sarajevo in their Europa League playoff clash tonight, as per the official club’s Twitter account.
The full match squad is as follows:
Starting XI: Barkas, Bitton, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, Brown, McGregor, Taylor, Christie, Elyounoussi, Edouard
Subs: Bain, Jullien, Griffiths, Klimala, Turnbull, Ntcham, Elhamed
Lennon will be looking to avoid a similar scare to last week when it took a last-minute winner from Mohamed Elyounoussi to squeeze through against Riga.
Remember, there is no second leg to fall back on tonight. A defeat in Bosnia-Herzegovina will mean that Celtic are out of Europe with no safety net available. A win, however, and Lennon will secure entry into the group stages of Europe’s secondary club competition for the second time in two years.
Celtic will also be hoping for a repeat of their 3-1 win in Bosnia last season when the two sides met in the first qualifying round of the Champions League.
However, tonight’s game isn’t being played in the Asim Ferhatovic Hase stadium, the venue of that win. The stadium doesn’t meet UEFA’s requirements for this round of the competition. Instead, the game will take place at NK Celik’s Bilino Polje stadium (Radio Sarajevo).
As for the team itself, it’s no surprise to see Odsonne Edouard return to the starting line-up after being benched for Sunday’s 3-0 home win against Hibernian.
Yet it’s also great to see that the manager is sticking by the 3-5-2 formation. It looks as though Ryan Christie may be playing just off the frontman, with Elyounoussi also taking a more central role as the Hoops go for it this evening.
Unfortunately, the game isn’t being shown on Premier Sports, like last week’s game in Riga was.
Instead, supporters who have subscribed to Celtic’s Pass to Paradise this season will be able to stream the game live online. The game will also be live for Celtic TV subscribers outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland, and Bosnia.
For those who live in the countries mentioned above who don’t have a Pass to Paradise, there is no way to legally watch tonight’s match. Instead, live audio is available via Celtic TV, or you can follow the BBC’s live test coverage on their website.
There appears to be a real acknowledgment from the support tonight that Lennon has picked the strongest XI available to him.
With Edouard back in the fold and Christie/Elyounoussi feeding the supply to him, the manager couldn’t have gone much stronger going forward. In addition to that, Bitton keeps his place ahead of Christopher Jullien, whilst Leigh Griffiths is back on the bench.
All in all, fans are pleased with tonight’s line-up, and that’s reflected in the reaction to it on social media:
I’m proud of you Neil https://t.co/bmVoKYFhMB
— RG (@Galbraith67_) October 1, 2020
Happy with a team in a Euro tie 😲
Never thought I’d see the day. https://t.co/AawhbdOoXN
— Graham A (@graham1A) October 1, 2020
Didn’t think he’d go Christie after bringing him off Sunday but minus that, no real shocks or surprises as expected and as needed. Lennon picking the correct team for tonight so now it’s up to the players to turn up, put on a performance and take the result that we need tonight. https://t.co/HsZU23hokf
— Kieran Smyth (@kieransmyth97) October 1, 2020
Edouard and Elyounoussi ✅
Taylor and Frimpong ✅
Brown and McGregor ✅
Let's get Rocking 🍀
Predictions ❓ https://t.co/Jcz5RubeA6
— The Cynic (@90MinuteCynic) October 1, 2020
Not enough changes. Who kidnapped the gaffer? Come on!!
Jokes aside. Mon the hoops. I really can’t be bothered with the blazing fire that’ll come with a loss tonight.
— Digital Paul (@DigitalPaul01) October 1, 2020
Maybe not the team I’d pick but not far off it and at least nothing strange or head scratching. Early goal would be nice
— steven (@Beaumontbhoy) October 1, 2020
Good he’s learning at last that you don’t mess with a winning team.
— Bernie ☘💚 (@celticghirl_75) October 1, 2020
So glad bitton kept his place far better than jullien defensively
— Jack_McGregor (@JackMcG07047976) October 1, 2020