"Has to start"; Chris Sutton picks his Celtic team for Sunday derby

By John McGinley

April 2, 2022

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton believes Giorgos Giakoumakis ‘has to start’ the derby against Rangers at Ibrox, despite Kyogo Furuhashi returning to fitness.

Sutton knows all about how to perform against Rangers having built up a reputation for being something of a derby specialist over the years. He relished these occasions.

So, it’s worth listening to what he wants from the Bhoys tomorrow. And unsurprisingly it’s an attacking line-up.

In his column for The Daily Record this week, Sutton goes for a Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley central three, supporting the Greek forward.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There’s also a place for Jota in his team, before saying choosing between Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda is a 50/50 call. That means there is no room for Kyogo or Tom Rogic in Sutton’s starting lineup.

On his O’Riley over Rogic call, the pundit explains: “One thing is for sure, you can’t start both of them at Ibrox. Both are sublime with the ball, but you couldn’t call them over-industrious and McGregor and Hatate will need assistance. Rogic has scored some massive goals against Rangers in the past, but O’Riley did so well in the last game it’s hard to leave him out.

“Giorgios Giakoumakis has to start in attack in the central position. The Greek has been in superb form recently and he’s got power. He can hold the ball up and I like his work ethic. Giakoumakis also has an eye for the net as 11 goals since the winter break suggests.

“Were it not for Allan McGregor’s brilliance, he’d have already opened his account against Rangers and he’s a danger.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Piecing together his column, his team seems to be: Hart, Juranvoic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Jota, Maeda, Giakoumakis.

Coincidentally this is also the eleven I would go with personally. I’m sure a lot of other Celtic fans feel the same. I’d say about seven of the team picks itself, with a few positions up for debate.

Postecoglou is spoiled for choice and regardless of what eleven he goes with tomorrow, it’s likely to be a popular line-up.

In Ange we trust!

In other news, Ange Postecoglou shares the big difference between tomorrow and Celtic’s last trip to Govan.