By support

11th May, 2017 | 8:54pm

25-year-old axed in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI to face Aberdeen

By Matt Farr

Brendan Rodgers should axe midfielder Nir Bitton from his Celtic starting eleven to face Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership on Friday.

Bitton has fallen down the pecking order in recent weeks, and is far from Celtic’s best central midfield option. As a result, Rodgers should instead turn to Callum McGregor as the partner to Stuart Armstrong.

With Aberdeen likely to represent the biggest test to Celtic for quite some time, Rodgers must also recall Scott Sinclair to his starting eleven, in place of youngster Michael Johnston.

The 18-year-old was handed his senior debut during the 4-1 win over St. Johnstone last time out, but Sinclair has been such a crucial asset to Celtic and must not be wasted on the sidelines.

Sinclair has been in sensational form following his arrival in Scotland at the start of the season, with the in-form attacker contributing 25 goals and 11 assists from his 46 appearances in all competitions.

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Aside from the two midfield changes, Rodgers should persist with the basis of the line up from their last encounter, meaning nine players retain their places.

Rodgers will be forced to consider his options in the middle of the park as the ever-present Scott Brown serves the second and final game of his two-match suspension.

The likes of Kouassi Eboue and Liam Henderson will also be in contention to be handed an important role against Aberdeen, but Rodgers must hand his backing to the in-form McGregor.

McGregor, 23, has been a surprise hit in Rodgers’ side of late, hitting the back of the net in each of his last three appearances, and would be a much more reliable option than the out of sorts Bitton.

The Celtic chief may also ponder a change at full-back, given the inexperience of youngster Anthony Ralston. But the teenager gave a decent showing against St. Johnstone, and deserves a shot against a more testing opponent.

Celtic can move 33 points clear of second-placed Aberdeen with a win at Pittodrie on Friday, whilst they can also extend their unbeaten run in all domestic competitions to an incredible 44 matches.

In other Celtic news, Tom Rogic has taken this thinly-veiled dig at Rangers ahead of the Aberdeen clash.

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