Notably, Celtic interim boss John Kennedy reverted back to the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation against Livingston last Saturday ahead of the Glasgow Derby this weekend.

Paying dividends, the Hoops ran out 6-0 winners in what by all accounts was their best performance of the season thus far [BBC Sport].

Looking ahead to the crunch derby fixture at Ibrox this Sunday in the Scottish Cup fourth-round, Kennedy should look to replicate the system in order to stand the best chance of recording a sweet away-day victory.

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Though the 4-4-2 diamond has yielded two decent performances against Rangers, 4-2-3-1 is a more natural fit for the current crop of Hoops players. Restrictive in nature, the diamond has produced positional irregularity for the likes of Mohamed Elyounoussi and Ryan Christie.

Subsequently, both have seen their scope of influence on proceedings limited in the 4-4-2 setup. Moreover, the Celts preferred shape since the turn of the year allows Celtic to utilise two strikers in theory.

Despite this, the reality of this approach has not always transpired effectively.

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4-4-2 diamond creates unsustainable conundrums; Celtic need 4-2-3-1 for Glasgow Derby

Odsonne Edouard tends to drop deeper in the diamond, leaving his striking partner free to be man-marked by opposition defenders once in the box.

Additionally, the Hoops retain deeper-lying full-backs such as Jonjoe Kenny and Diego Laxalt. Though both good footballers, they lack attacking flair to bomb forward and garner assists. This is reflected in the fact the pair only have a solitary assist between them this season [Transfermarkt].

Celtic Glasgow derby

Celtic winger James Forrest has been out with an ankle injury / (Photo by Paul Campbell/Getty Images)

Almost by magic, Celtic look like a completely different animal after the re-introduction of James Forrest. He possesses the natural flair to stretch the game in advanced wide areas. The Hoops no longer need to rely on trying to play through teams centrally.

Able to pull opposition defenders out of position, the Scot has been able to link superbly with his attacking counterparts. As well as this, moving Mohamed Elyounoussi to the left-flank has enabled him with the freedom to come inside and cause mayhem.

With Rangers preferring to push full-backs higher up the pitch, both Elyounoussi and Forrest could expose Rangers on the counter-attack. Celtic should look to play Sunday’s crucial match on their own terms – 4-2-3-1 grants us the best chance.

In other news, Celtic’s Jack Hendry has posted on Instagram after bagging fifth place with KV Oostende.

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