Predicted Celtic XI to face St Johnstone (H)

By David Walton

January 29, 2019

St Johnstone could be the next lambs to the slaughter in the Parkhead chamber on Wednesday night.

Celtic have been in imperious form at home this season. Under Brendan Rodgers, they’ve lost just one domestic match at Parkhead throughout his entire tenure. Even that came on trophy day as Aberdeen pipped Rangers to second-place last season.

And since returning from the Dubai trip nearly two weeks ago, the Hoops have continued to soar at home. Three wins out of three, scoring 10 goals and shipping zero is a fine symbol of the great record Celtic have at Parkhead.

Celtic’s home form has been seriously impressive at home (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But just who will start the game on Wednesday night? We were a Dedryck Boyata injury and a Mikey Johnston curve-ball away from getting it right against Accies, so what’s Rodgers likely to do tomorrow?

It’s difficult to say Scott Bain is the number one. Rodgers, however, has claimed that he’ll have a run in the team. With his failure to lose a goal in any of his last eight matches, his appearance run is likely to trickle into the Saints match.

Mikael Lustig has now started the last two matches in Anthony Ralston’s absence too. That is unlikely to change, whilst Kieran Tierney’s injury will surely mean Emilio Izaguirre keeps his place.

The centre-back blow

Rodgers did, h0wever, deliver a fair blow at his press conference yesterday. Speaking to Celtic TV, he ruled out Dedryck Boyata and confirmed that Filip Benkovic is suffering from yet another knock.

That could mean a return to a centre-back partnership we never thought we’d see again – Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic. This could be a one-time performance, but it has to be Rodgers’ selection if Benko and Boyata are out.

Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are starting to find some form together. They’ve both started the last five matches, and there’s no signs of that changing.

James Forrest missed the Hamilton success and found himself replaced by Mikey Johnston. He did come on for a late cameo, and is likely to regain his place this week after Johnston failed to ignite anything.

Scott Sinclair will want to continue his fine form (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scott Sinclair will be looking to keep up his sensational run of seven goals in five games.

Ryan Christie, however, will be looking to make a serious impact in the number 10 position. With Tom Rogic back from the Asia Cup, someone could be about to get dropped. With Christie one of the candidates considering his attributes, he’ll be looking for a big performance.

Up top, Timothy Weah didn’t quite look the same as he started against Accies. He missed his one big chance of the game when he ran through on Ryan Fulton. With Oli Burke coming on from the bench against Hamilton, expect him to start over Weah tomorrow night.

Here’s our full predicted starting XI in list form:

GK – Craig Gordon

RB – Mikael Lustig

CB – Kristoffer Ajer

CB – Filip Benkovic

LB – Emilio Izaguirre

CM – Scott Brown

CM – Callum McGregor

RM – James Forrest

CAM – Ryan Christie

LM – Scott Sinclair

ST – Oliver Burke