Klimala, Soro, and Turnbull unleashed - predicted Celtic XI to face Ross County

By David Walton

December 23, 2020

Right. The quadruple treble has been won and now all focus for Celtic is on the 10.

Celtic have won three games in-a-row after victories over Lille, Kilmarnock, and now Hearts. Momentum is starting to build even if our deficiencies were still on show at Hampden.

Individual defensive issues continued to cost us against the Jambos in the Scottish Cup final. Conor Hazard and Shane Duffy both made some crucial errors that could’ve cost us. However, in the end, the cup was won and the momentum continued.

Next up then is Ross County tonight. Celtic are back in Premiership action and it looks like being another big one. With Neil Lennon confirming in his pre-match presser that changes will be made, let’s delve in and see what could be amended:

Heroic Hazard will be eyeing clean sheet

Conor Hazard is fresh off of his cup final heroics with two glorious penalty saves. He’ll back in the sticks once again as he looks to get back on the clean sheet trail. His lack came in the 2-0 win against Kilmarnock last week.

Postecoglou hints at big week of Celtic announcements

Jeremie Frimpong missed out when it came to the Scottish Cup starting line-up. He won’t do tonight. With Shane Duffy a doubt for this one (Celtic Twitter), we expect Kris Ajer to be reverted back to his usual centre-back position. That will require Jeremie to come in and take his spot.

Christopher Jullien will be Ajer’s partner at the back. Even though Lennon went with Greg Taylor against Hearts, I suspect this was out of loyalty. Diego Laxalt performed well after coming on as a substitute and will deservedly be back in the team.

Scott Brown is another one of those doubts for tonight. Lennon described him as being a “major” one. Expect this to be Ismaila Soro’s chance to shine again. He’s been incredible in matches against Lille and Kilmarnock respectively. Now is the time for him to step back into the mix and win his spot back.

Celtic midfielder Ismaila Soro (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Calmac – the Celtic undroppable

Alongside him you’ll see the reliable Callum McGregor. McGregor this week made the CIES Football Observatory’s top 10 list for the most used players in 2020. He was 10th with over 4100 minutes of action to his name. Expect another 90 or so to be added to that after tonight.

Lennon will desperately be hoping that Ryan Christie is back to his old self after Sunday. He scored an absolute pearler to give us the lead against Hearts. And even though he missed his spot-kick, his goal alone will be a morale-booster. He’ll keep his place on the right side.

Tom Rogic may have come on for the final stages against Hearts, but it’ll be David Turnbull who starts again tonight. He’s quickly becoming undroppable as he grows into the attacking midfielder we desperately need. With Moi Elyounoussi on the left too, we should have the required firepower here.

Up top, it won’t be Odsonne Edouard tonight. Or at least not in my opinion. Nope, it won’t be Leigh Griffiths either. I’m not sure his comments about “that green stuff” will please Lennon (Daily Record). I don’t think it was in a tone the manager will appreciate as he looked for more game-time. I have a feeling Patryk Klimala will get the nod after he wasn’t rewarded sufficiently for his Lille display. Watch Neil play Griffiths now I’ve said that.

Anyway, hopefully the run goes on and we can make it four consecutive victories tonight. We simply need to.