Scottish champions Celtic were humbled by the Austrian champions RB Salzburg earlier this week as the latter secured a 3-1 home win in the Europa League fixture. But the Celts do not have time to dwell on that as they will have to focus on the Premiership where they are in unfamiliar territory.
Brendan Rodgers’ men are due to be hosted by St. Johnstone at the McDiarmid Park tomorrow. Celtic are currently 5th with 13 points from 7 matches but are favourites to secure all three points from this fixture.
Celtic Team News
Marvin Compper and Filip Benkovic are back in training after recovering from their respective groin and Achilles tendon injuries. Scott Brown and Kristoffer Ajer are sidelined. Meanwhile, Nir Bitton will not be available for selection owing to his knee injury.
PREDICTED CELTIC LINE-UP (4-2-3-1)
Craig Gordon has looked sharp so far this season under the bar and should start in goal yet again. Jack Hendry and Dedryck Boyata are expected to be stationed in the central defence. The centre-back pairing needs to be at it’s best as Celtic cannot afford to drop any more points now.
Kieran Tierney deserves to be one of the first names to be chalked in the starting line-up. The Scottish international’s tenacity and willingness to go up and down the flank throughout the 90 minutes is admirable and Rodgers needs more of the same from the others. We expect Mikael Lustig to start as the right-back.
There has been a considerable drop in the level of performance of Olivier Ntcham and Rodgers will be concerned regarding the same. In the absence of Brown, he has failed to get a grip on proceedings and has been robbed of the ball quite easily. However, he is unlikely to be dropped at this stage.
Alongside him, Youssouf Mulumbu will probably be stationed to play the role of an anchor. Tom Rogic, on his day, has the calibre to turn the game on its head with his creativity and vision. And Celtic need him to be firing on all cylinders in the coming days.
Odsonne Edouard found the back of the net against Salzburg and is set to start up front. James Forrest is likely to start on the right. He will look to stretch the backline of the Saints and in turn, open up space for the other attackers to thrive in. On the left, Scott Sinclair might be handed a start.
LUSTIG- HENDRY- BOYATA- TIERNEY
SINCLAIR- ROGIC- FORREST