Celtic expected 4-2-3-1 to face Rangers: 26-year-old starts in strong Rodgers XI
By Matt Farr
Brendan Rodgers is expected to make just one change to his Celtic starting eleven for the visit to rivals Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.
Celtic goalscorer Leigh Griffiths is expected to be welcomed back into the side in the absence of the injured Moussa Dembele, who limped off during the 2-0 win over Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi final a week ago.
The 26-year-old has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, and is set to be recalled to lead the line as Rodgers searches for a solution to his attacker dilemma.
However, Rodgers is not expected to make any further changes to his side, and will field another strong starting eleven to supress their Old Firm rivals for a sixth time this season.
Therefore, goalkeeper Craig Gordon is likely to form the foundations of a familiar back-five, with Jozo Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata in central defence, and Kieran Tierney and Mikael Lustig as the marauding full-backs.
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Rangers caused minimal problems for the Celtic defence in their last encounter, and Rodgers will resist the urge to rotate his options in order to achieve a similar result.
Scott Brown will likely also retain his place in the midfield engine room, having been given the green light by the Scottish Football Association to feature at Ibrox.
The 31-year-old was set to miss the clash through suspension, but after a successful appeal, the midfielder saw his red card reduced to a caution.
Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor are also expected to feature, with the latter playing an instrumental role in their cup semi final triumph a week ago.
James Forrest could come into contention for a starting role on the right-hand side of midfield, but Rodgers may look to persist with the impressive Patrick Roberts, who ran circles around the Rangers full-backs last time out.
A win for Celtic will see them extend their lead over Rangers to an incredible 36 points in the Scottish Premiership, and maintain their unbeaten record in all competitions since the start of the season.
In other Celtic team news, Rodgers has delivered an encouraging update on the recovery of Dembele, fans will love this.