By Tony Hughes
Celtic must field their strongest possible team in a Champions League game they have to win if they want to get to the knockout stages of the competition.
The Scottish giants are finding life as easy as ever in the Scottish Premiership – with seven wins from eight games – but it’s a different matter in the elite European competition.
Celtic have one point from their first two games but showed that when they’re at their best they can match anyone, after securing an impressive 3-3 draw with Premier League leaders Manchester City at Celtic Park.
Celtic’s opponents on Wednesday evening have lost both of their opening Champions League games.
But, Borussia Monchengladbach took the lead against Barcelona and were unlucky to lose the game 2-1. They’re currently sitting in ninth in the Bundesliga.
The good news for Celtic is that Brendan Rodgers can name a strong XI after resting key players in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Motherwell.
He should revert to the same team that secured the point against Manchester City.
Craig Gordon should start in goal with Kieran Tierney and Erik Sviatchenko retaining their places from the game against Motherwell.
Celtic’s hugely experienced central defender Kolo Toure must return to the starting XI after being rested for the majority of the game on Saturday.
Mikael Lustig should complete the back four after being rested on Saturday with a slight knock. He should be fit to make his return on Wednesday night.
Nir Biton was another player with a slight knock and he missed Saturday’s game with Motherwell but must return to the starting XI against Gladbach, alongside Scott Brown.
Moussa Dembele, Celtic’s two-goal hero from the game with Man City, must spearhead the Celtic attack tonight. He’s scored six in eight Premiership games and will be looking to make it three from three Champions League games against Gladbach.
Dembele will be assisted by Celtic’s strongest attacking trio, Scott Sinclair, James Forrest and Tomas Rogic, another player rested on Saturday after his exertions for Australia.
Rogic has played a key part in Celtic’s Premiership campaign, with three goals and two assists from seven appearances.
By contrast, Gladbach are without five of their stars for the crunch game. On-loan Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, Thorgan Hazard, Brazillian playmaker Raffael, Fabian Johnson and striker Josip Drmic are all missing for the visitors.
In other Celtic team news, this 13-year-old wonderkid has just received his first international call-up.