By Danny Wright

11th Aug, 2017 | 10:25am

30-year-old mainstay axed in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI v Partick

COMMENT By Danny Wright

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers must axe Mikael Lustig from his usual Scottish Premiership squad for Friday night’s trip to Partick Thistle.

The 30-year-old right-back has been a mainstay of Rodgers’ first-team in recent seasons, but the form of Anthony Ralston in recent weeks has proved that the youngster should be handed just his second league start at Firhill Park.

Ralston scored and supplied two assists in the Hoops’ 5-0 hammering of Kilmarnock in the League Cup on Tuesday night and if that attacking threat is called upon in the Premiership, it should see Rodgers’ side continue their unbeaten run in domestic competitions.

The Bhoys made wholesale changes for the Kilmarnock victory and Rodgers is expected to revert back to the team that won at Hearts last week.

However as well as Lustig being axed, James Forrest should also be left out in place of Tom Rogic, who must play back in the No 10 spot while Callum McGregor shuffles over on to the right wing.

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Craig Gordon must keep his place in goal behind a back four of Kieran Tierney, Nir Bitton, Jozo Simunovic and Ralston.

Bitton should carry on playing in the centre of defence after showing good form there in the absence of both Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko.

Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham have to slot back into their places in the centre of midfield behind Rogic, who is flanked by Scott Sinclair to the left and McGregor to the right.

As Moussa Dembele is still out with injury, Leigh Griffiths is the only logical option to lead the Celtic attack.

Partick were one of just a handful of teams that managed to hold the Hoops to a draw last season, however last term’s clash at Firhill Park saw Rodgers’ men run out as resounding 5-0 victors.

In other Celtic news, Kris Commons has revealed what Hoop players cannot do unless that want to find themselves sacked by Rodgers.

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