New attack, first start for 3 months; Team news and Celtic Predicted XI vs St Johnstone

By John McGinley

November 20, 2021

Celtic go into today’s match with St Johnstone at Hampden in good shape.

The squad have come through the rigours of the international break unscathed, as confirmed by Ange Postecoglou in his pre-match press conference.

More than that, the break from action has given some players more time to get up to speed in a way that is satisfying to the manager.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Australian spoke excitedly about the progress of James Forrest for example, suggesting he was in the best condition he’s seen since arriving in Glasgow earlier this year.

With almost a full squad to choose from, what will Postecoglou go with for the semi-final?

The defence seems the easiest are to call today. Joe Hart will certainly start in goal, with Anthony Ralston and Josip Juranovic on each flank.

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Bertie tributes planned at Hampden, as Juranovic sends Atletico Madrid man “into oblivion”
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Centrally Cameron Carter-Vickers is a guarantee and it’s likely Stephen Welsh will also start given that Carl Starfelt has been struggling to get back in time for this one.

In midfield, with Tom Rogic still not quite ready, it’d make sense to see Nir Bitton back in a holding role with Callum McGregor and David Turnbull further forward.

That leaves the attack. Given Postecoglou’s strong comments on Forrest, I actually think we’ll see the winger given a shot from the start today for the first time in over three months. It’d be great to see him flying again in a Celtic shirt. Liel Abada would be available from the bench to attack tired legs in the second half.

With Jota and Kyogo also in the line-up, the Bhoys should have enough firepower to get through to the League Cup final.

Your predicted XI in full is: Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Juranovic, Bitton, McGregor, Turnbull, Forrest, Jota, Kyogo.

In other news, Report: Lennoxtown youth has caught the eye of senior Celtic players in training.