Attacker axed among three changes in Rodgers 3-5-2: Celtic best possible XI against Hibernian
By James Black
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers will need to make three changes to the XI which beat Anderlecht in midweek if he wants to field his strongest side against Hibs on Saturday.
With injury ruling captain Scott Brown out, Olivier Ntcham and attacking midfielder Tom Rogic should also make way with Nir Bitton, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele coming into the starting XI in a re-jigged 3-5-2 formation.
Stuart Armstrong also misses out after picking up an injury this week and, while Brendan Rodgers has said he is available, it’s unlikely Anthony Ralston will be involved after suffering a slight meniscus tear.
Scotland and Celtic number one Craig Gordon is almost certain to retain hisplace between the sticks after earning Celtic’s first-ever clean sheet away from home in the Champions League.
Ahead of him, Dedryck Boyata, Jozo Simunovic and Mikael Lustig should form a re-jigged three-man defence with Kieran Tierney and the restored James Forrest operating as wing-backs.
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Forrest’s defensive capabilities don’t get the credit they deserve and the 26-year-old impressed there against Dundee recently.
In the absence of Scott Brown, Nir Bitton is the best choice as Celtic’s anchor in midfield ahead of Olivier Ntcham, who has struggled to show any real consistency since his summer transfer.
Despite playing as wingers more often than not, Scott Sinclair and Patrick Roberts could see their roles slightly tweaked to bring them inside a little more than usual to offer some support to Bitton in the middle of the park.
Prolific striker Moussa Dembele could make his second league start of the season along side Leigh Griffiths as the Hoops look the extend their phenomenal unbeaten run in domestic games to 58 games.
Dembele was a substitute against Anderlecht and could get another run out from the start ahead of the upcoming international break.
In other Celtic news, fans have slammed this 24-year-old for his display against Anderlecht.