Predicted Celtic XI vs Hamilton (A)

By David Walton

September 13, 2019

Our predicted XI vs Hamilton contains one new debut that should excite the fans if Neil Lennon goes ahead with it.

Of course, the main plot heading into this game is stretching our 100% record to five matches. New Douglas Park’s astroturf surface rarely makes for a pretty encounter, but it is a vital one.

Celtic go into the contest looking to record a fine 10th successive win over Accies. However, this is their first time facing off against Brian Rice’s new-look Hamilton side. The South Lanarkshire outfit failed to score a goal in any of their three matches against the Hoops last season, and conceded seven too.

Celtic have found constant success at New Douglas Park (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And it could be an interesting starting line-up that takes to the field for Celtic after the international break. Here, we take a look at who could be involved.

Predicted XI vs Hamilton

Fraser Forster has started his second spell at Celtic with a penalty save against Hearts and a clean sheet at Ibrox. It reads well for him, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s enough to earn him the number one spot. He should slot back in this weekend.

Injuries to the backline look like forcing Celtic into more defensive re-shuffling. Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic both look set to miss the trip to Accies (Scottish Sun). Nir Bitton, meanwhile, came off at Ibrox with a knock.

What that could mean is a continuation of the partnership between Christopher Jullien and Hatem Abd Elhamed at centre-back. Moritz Bauer could be in line for his first start at right-back after his impressive Ibrox cameo too.

Can Jullien follow up his Ibrox performance with a run of consistency? (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Another interesting sub-plot is who starts between Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor. It’s a bit of a toss-up, but for now we’ll go with Boli considering it’s his jersey to lose and he’s had two weeks without a match. He should be fresh and full of confidence after his own Ibrox performance too.

If you asked us 24 hours ago, we would’ve said Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham would operate in the engine room. The reason? Callum McGregor played two matches for Scotland against Russia and Belgium respectively.

However, Lenny has already come out and said for Saturday that he’ll turn to experienced pros like Brown, McGregor, and James Forrest respectively (Scottish Sun). Therefore, it seems ridiculous to go for anything other than Brown and McGregor in there, with James Forrest down the right once more. Lenny could end up changing his mind, but it would be silly to predict that.

Lennon to use the experienced stars

Ryan Christie should slot back into the number 10 position. Tom Rogic may be closing in on a return, but he’s not likely to be ready just yet.

Will Lennon throw Mohamed Elyounoussi into the mix? (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

And left-mid is where we’re hopeful for an exciting debut for Mohamed Elyounoussi. With Mikey Johnston injured after pulling out of the Scotland under-21 squad last week, it seems all set up for the Southampton-owned loan star to show us what he’s got.

Meanwhile, Odsonne Edouard has been making more waves than any other of our international stars over the last week. He managed four goals in his first two appearances for the France under-21 side. However, ironically, we’re going to predict Lennon rests him despite being in scintillating form. Leigh Griffiths is our pick to lead the line and get his own renaissance back on track.

As always, here’s the team in list form:

GK – Fraser Forster

RB – Moritz Bauer

CB – Christopher Jullien

CB – Hatem Abd Elhamed

LB – Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo

CM – Scott Brown

CM – Callum McGregor

RM – James Forrest

CAM – Ryan Christie

LM – Mohamed Elyounoussi

ST – Leigh Griffiths