2022 selection precedent may point towards Celtic goalkeeping choice for Scottish Cup tie
As Celtic get set to enter the Scottish Cup at the Fourth Round stage, Ange Postecoglou is likely to make several changes to his starting line-up.
The Bhoys are looking to go one better in the cup competition this campaign, by reaching the final, in the hunt for another trophy.
But first, on Saturday, the Hoops must advance from this round as we take on Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton at Celtic Park.
The second-tier side come into this game off the back of a few disappointing results. However, Dougie Imrie’s side has enjoyed a decent season and are still in the hunt for the play-offs.
Ange Postecoglou’s team are firm favourites this weekend as we look to continue our fantastic start to the domestic campaign in 2022/23.
With the strength of this current Celtic squad, the former Socceroos boss is expected to make at least a few changes to his starting 11.
One of the positions that can typically change for the Bhoys in cup competitions is the goalkeeper, with previous managers choosing to give the regular number one a rest.
Postecoglou has shown his willingness to do this earlier this season, with Ben Siegrist taking his place between the sticks against Ross County and Motherwell in the Viaplay Cup.
However, the former Dundee United goalkeeper is currently absent from the squad for an unknown reason, and Joe Hart kept his place at Hampden last Saturday.
Currently, the Hoops do have two other backup options in Scott Bain (who has recently been on the bench) and Conor Hazard. But will the Celtic manager look to give them an opportunity in the Scottish Cup this weekend?
2022 Scottish Cup selection precedent may offer some insight into Celtic’s goalkeeper choice this weekend.
In my opinion, if Siegrist was fit/available, then I would expect the Swiss shot-stopper to start between the sticks again this weekend.
However, if he isn’t in contention, then there is a likelihood that neither Bain nor Hazard will be given the opportunity to start.
If Ange Postecoglou’s goalkeeping selections in last year’s Scottish Cup campaign are anything to go off, then it seems likely Joe Hart could keep his place against Greenock Morton.
The ex-England number one started all four of the Bhoys Scottish Cup fixtures in 2022 against Alloa Athletic, Raith Rovers, Dundee United and Rangers.
Scott Bain took his place on the bench for all four of those fixtures. So it would come as a surprise to see him introduced in the same competition this season.
Hazard could be within a shout of stepping up after a strong spell out on loan with HJK Helsinki. However, surely he would be taking his place on the bench in the last few games if that was the case?
At this point in time, it remains to be seen whether summer signing Ben Siegrist will be available after missing out on the matchday squad in recent weeks.
If he doesn’t make it, then in my opinion, it seems more likely that Joe Hart will remain goalkeeper for this game rather than being replaced for the Scottish Cup tie.