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31st Mar, 2017 | 3:09pm

Celtic expected 4-2-3-1 to face Hearts: 19-year-old starts

By Matt Farr

Brendan Rodgers is expected to hand Kouassi Eboue his first start for the club as Celtic take on Hearts in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

The 19-year-old midfielder has only featured twice since his January move to Parkhead, but is likely to come into the starting eleven in place of Callum McGregor.

Celtic are not expected to make any further changes to their side, with ten players retaining their places following the 2-1 win over Dundee prior to the international break.

Their impressive record of just five goals conceded since the start of the year has given Rodgers little reason to change his defensive line-up, and that should see all five players remain unmoved.

Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Josip Simunovic and Mikael Lustig have been ever-present this term, while the re-invigorated Dedryck Boyata is expected to continue after an impressing run of form.

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The change to the midfield sees Eboue slot in alongside the experienced Scott Brown at the heart of Celtic’s engine.

Rodgers has been forced to ease the Ivorian into the first team squad in Glasgow, but he could be handed an important role as Celtic bid to win the league title this weekend.

With one hand already on the title, Rodgers is therefore expected to name his strongest attacking quartet, meaning Scott Sinclair, Stuart Armstrong, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele also continue.

The win over Aberdeen on February 1 was the last time that one of the four failed to register on the scoresheet for Celtic, highlighting their importance to the club’s imminent success.

Tom Rogic is back in training with the first-team, but the clash with Hearts will come too soon for the Australian midfield star.

A sixth consecutive title could, however, be achieved on Friday night if second-placed Aberdeen lose to Dundee.

In other Celtic team news, this defensive mainstay is set to quit the club this summer.

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