The brilliant much-changed Celtic XI we could see Ange unleash in next match

By John McGinley

January 3, 2022

Celtic are in the midst of a winter break but that doesn’t stop us from dreaming of seeing the Bhoys in action just two short weeks away.

In fact, I am sure many of you are bursting to witness a new look Celtic take to the field against Hibernian on January 17th. We don’t yet know if crowds will be in place, but we do know there will be a distinctly fresh look to the starting eleven.

So whether we are in the stands or watching on the Pass To Paradise, season ticket holders have a lot to look forward to. With the return of injuries and new signings, just what will the XI look like? Well, let’s give it our best shot.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

Ange’s new look Celtic

Joe Hart‘s injury that kept him out of matches against St Mirren and St Johnstone is not thought to be serious so he should return between the sticks.

If everyone’s fit and healthy, a back four of Josip Juranovic, Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Greg Taylor seems optimal.

However, Christopher Jullien is due for a return to training this month and Anthony Ralston is always willing to give everything if need be, so Ange Postecoglou does have different options.

“Maeda will set the tone for Ange at Celtic” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson

“Maeda will set the tone for Ange at Celtic” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

In midfield is where it starts to get exciting. Callum McGregor should be available for a return and ahead of him we could see a big debut.

Reo Hatate will be expected to partner Tom Rogic in the attacking midfield area, filling in for an injured David Turnbull who limped out with hamstring injury against Hibernian in the League Cup final. Turnbull is expected to be absent for all of January.

On the left flank, another debut awaits as Daizen Maeda prepares to make an assault on Scottish football after a 23-goal season in Japan.

Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

With fingers crossed, we hope for the return of Jota too, who may well find himself on the right side due to Maeda’s presence. Jota has been nursing a hamstring injury of his own but the manager has spoken of his hopes that he will be available after the break. If not, there’s always Liel Abada.

That leaves Kyogo Furuhashi as the lead forward through the middle, spearheading the Celtic way into the second half of the season.

That XI in full is, potentially: Hart, Juranovic, Starfelt, Carter-Vickers, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, Rogic, Jota, Maeda, Kyogo.

Don’t tell me that isn’t a thrilling prospect!

In other news, Portuguese Report: Celtic and Benfica advance Jota negotiations despite training centre visit.