So D-Day for Neil Lennon is arriving.
In truth, he’s already had a couple of them and still has a couple to go between now and the end of the season.
But Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen is absolutely monumental for him. Lose, and the treble is lost. Lennon’s reputation takes a massive bump, and it’s difficult to see him getting the job permanently.
A victory? It’s one huge step closer to the treble treble, and again he’ll have results on his side in pursuit of the job.
Yes, it’s a day with everything to lose and everything to gain for Lennon and Celtic. For us, we just want to taste that incredible potential achievement of the treble treble. A first for Scottish football from a club who just can’t stop breaking domestic records.
But who’s going to get the nod this Sunday and be part of something monumental? Here we give it our own stab.
Scott Bain has featured in every single game under Lennon. It would take a brave man to be that will change this weekend.
At the back, Celtic should start off with four. If Aberdeen are going to be putting a high press on us, it’s important we have the numbers at the back to deal with that.
Therefore, Mikael Lustig, Kristoffer Ajer, Filip Benkovic, and Kieran Tierney looks like the strongest back-line we have available.
This is an opinion that could split the support. Despite that, however, Olivier Ntcham wouldn’t get near the starting line-up for me. With the form that both Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are in, they have the ability to boss that midfield.
The front four is such a difficult section of the team to predict these days. Lennon made three changes to it when Celtic traveled to St Mirren. He then made a further couple for the Livingston draw last Saturday.
But, for big games, Lennon has a tendency to stick with James Forrest. Therefore, for me he’ll be playing on the right, with Tom Rogic in the number 10 position. Big Tam has yet to complete 90 minutes since returning from his long-term injury, but he showed enough flair against Livi to earn a start this Sunday.
Scott Sinclair hasn’t started any of Celtic’s last three matches. His performances this season simply haven’t been good enough, and Lennon appears to have seen enough for now.
So, and call this optimistic, we’re going to say Timothy Weah gets another chance down the left. He was extremely impressive in that position against St Mirren last week, but was then incredibly dropped for the visit of Livingston despite nabbing a goal against Saints.
Weah deserves his chance to shine, so we’re praying Lennon gives him it.
Up top, there’s only one man for this kind of occasion – Odsonne Edouard.
It’s been a stop-start campaign from French Eddy, but he continuously proves that he’s Celtic’s big-game player. He’ll be desperate for goal number 20 of the season, and you could easily see him bagging it on Sunday too.
The likes of Oliver Burke, Sinclair, and Jonny Hayes are all good impact players to bring on. But that’s all they should be this weekend. You could also argue that Ryan Christie should start too, and that’s another area of my selection that many will disagreee with.
Here’s the full XI in list form: