Attacker axed in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI to face Hearts
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Brendan Rodgers should recall Patrick Roberts to his Celtic starting eleven for the visit to Hearts in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.
The 20-year-old has been a superb addition the Celtic ranks this season, but was restricted to cameo appearances against Rangers and Dundee following a minor knee injury.
But he should be reinstated to the starting XI at the expense of attacker James Forrest when Celtic travel to Tynecastle.
Forrest has also had an instrumental role to play as Celtic enter the tie on the brink of a sixth consecutive league title, having contributed seven goals and 13 assists; but the pace and power of Roberts should give him the edge.
Rodgers should make no further changes to his side following the narrow win over Dundee prior to the international break.
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That would mean midfielder Callum McGregor will be set to continue in the midfield alongside Scott Brown, where he will be making only his 13th league start of his 23 appearances.
But there would also be a very familiar ring to the defensive line-up, with first team regulars Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney and Mikael Lustig continuing in their respective roles.
Dedryck Boyata and Josip Simunovic should also continue at the centre of the back four, meaning Erik Sviatchenko remains on the bench for the second consecutive game.
The impressive Stuart Armstrong, Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele must also be let loose on fifth-placed Hearts.
Armstrong has netted a goal in each of his last three league appearances, although neither Sinclair nor Dembele have scored in their last two outings.
But they remain Celtic’s strongest and most prolific attacking duo, and must be unleashed under any and all circumstances.
In other Celtic team news, this defensive mainstay is set to quit the club this summer.