The battle for the Scottish Premiership title is heating up with two of the biggest sides in the country, Celtic and Rangers, battling really hard to bag the bragging rights. On Sunday, the Bhoys will make a trip to the Ibrox Stadium to face Rangers in what is famously known as the Old Firm Derby.
Graeme Murty’s men are in a stupendous form and thus, it goes without saying that the upcoming Premiership fixture could be a season-defining game for both the sides. Considering the latest team news of Celtic, here is how we expect Brendan Rodgers to roll out his starting XI.
Craig Gordon is out of contention as he is continuing his recovery from his knee injury. Besides, Mikael Lustig will miss the upcoming fixture due to his suspension following his sending off in the win over Aberdeen. However, Leigh Griffiths returned to training last week and we might see him on the bench as he is unlikely to be rushed into the starting line-up.
Gordon’s absence implies that Dorus de Vries might be getting the nod to start between the sticks once again. There is no denying that de Vries has flattered to deceive on many occasions and his shot-stopping abilities have come under immense criticism. In the Old Firm Derby, the 37-year-old has to be on his toes and needs to be at his best to bolster his chances of playing even after Gordon returns.
We expect Rodgers to station Kieran Tierney in the left-back slot. The Scottish prodigy is a really exciting package, as his overlapping runs on the left and the balance he maintains between his offensive and defensive endeavours is attaining near perfection. Kristoffer Ajer has really impressed Rodgers and in Lustig’s absence, he should be getting the nod to start in the right-back slot.
At the heart of the defence, we anticipate that the pair of Marvin Compper and Jozo Simunovic would be chalked. These two fared well together against Greenock Morton and would be aiming to keep Rangers’ attackers at bay.
Scott Brown’s resilience, leadership and industry should see him start again. He has been an instrumental figure for the Celts this season and we expect Olivier Ntcham to partner him in midfield. Callum McGregor’s creativity would be crucial for Rodgers’ side in the final third and he is likely to operate as the no.10.
Moussa Dembele has scored 3 goals in his last 2 appearances across all competitions and the Frenchman should be stationed as the striker against the Light Blues. James Forrest has been in good touch and is expected to operate from the right-wing with Scott Sinclair likely to be placed on the left-wing.