Celtic have managed to carve a strong footing in the domestic competitions once again this season as they are all set to clinch the Scottish Premiership title. Besides, they are due to face their arch-rivals, Rangers, at the Hampden Park on Sunday in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.
The Old Firm derby, as the clash between these two Glasgow giants is known as, promises to be a dazzling game of football and the Gers will be keen to destroy Celtic’s hopes of again winning the domestic treble this season.
Celtic Team News
Craig Gordon is expected to be back in the squad this weekend, having shaken off an injury. Stuart Armstrong has suffered a calf injury and a late call will decide his chances of featuring in the derby.
Here is how we expect Rodgers to roll out his starting line-up against Graeme Murty’s entourage.
Although Gordon might be available, Scott Bain is likely to be appointed as the custodian against the Light Blues. The 26-year-old is a more than capable goalkeeper and should be a handy asset between the sticks on Sunday.
A three-man defensive wall is likely to be rolled out by the former Liverpool and Swansea City manager, comprising of Kristoffer Ajer, Dedryck Boyata and Jack Hendry. Ajer has been one of the dazzling youngsters in Scottish football this season and has received very positive reviews.
Further, Hendry has also been quite resilient at the back and has made good use of the opportunities that he has received this season. However, Boyata has flattered to deceive and has been criticized for his inconsistency on plenty of occasions. He certainly needs to up the ante.
Kieran Tierney’s exceptional attacking prowess and the ability to track back and defend makes him an invaluable package for the Bhoys. He has gone from strength to strength under the tutelage of Rodgers and he is expected to be stationed at the left-wingback slot.
In the right-wingback slot, we expect to see James Forrest showcase his calibre. Forrest has plundered 16 goals and 8 assists so far this season and will be aiming to make his presence felt against Murty’s men.
Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham have churned a formidable partnership in the middle of the park among themselves and they are expected to start. Time and again, they have shielded the back line meticulously and have also galloped forward to score goals and to create chances.
Up top, we expect Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths to start. Rangers have been quite decent of late, thanks to their defensive resilience and Celtic’s strike pair should try to create havoc in the final third. Callum McGregor should get the nod to start as the no.10.