Celtic boss Neil Lennon took a bit of a gamble with his starting line-up for Wednesday night’s game against Hearts at Tynecastle.
He started Olivier Ntcham in an attacking midfield role, with Ryan Christie playing on the wing. The reason that was a gamble is because Christie has been in superb form for the Hoops in the ‘number 10’ role.
However, the move paid off, as Christie opened the scoring for the Hoops with a trademark excellent goal for his 17th strike of the season, and Ntcham burst forward to add Celtic’s second goal in the 2-0 win.
It was a gamble that could have backfired, especially in a difficult venue like Tynecastle, but it worked, and Lennon should be delighted with himself.
Will team selection continue for next three games?
A question that does that have to be asked though, is will the Hoops boss continue with this selection policy in the three games up until the winter break?
The Hoops face Aberdeen on Saturday, have a trip to St Mirren on Boxing Day and then face Rangers at home on the 29th in what could be a defining game in the title race.
Lennon might well take each game on an individual basis. For example, it wouldn’t be a shock if he named an unchanged starting line-up for the Aberdeen game.
Derby line-up will be massive decision
There may be a change for the St Mirren game as it is only three days before the Glasgow derby. What Lennon does for the Rangers game will be at the forefront of some fans minds in the run-up to the game.
It should be pointed out that in the recent Betfred Cup Final win, Christie started in his advanced position, with Ntcham on the bench. Indeed, Ntcham didn’t feature at all in the 90 minutes.
As Celtic weren’t at their best in that game, Lennon might well decide to restore Ntcham to the starting line-up, and play Christie on the wing. It is a very intruding dilemma for the Hoops boss to have.