Celtic expected 4-2-3-1 v Hamilton: Attacking trio axed
By James Black
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers could make four changes for the Friday night showdown at Hamilton to the side that drew 1-1 with St. Johnstone in the final game before the international break.
New signings Patrick Roberts and Odsonne Edouard join Stuart Armstrong and Jozo Simunovic in the Hoops’ starting XI at the expense of attacking trio Tom Rogic, Leigh Griffiths and James Forrest, and right-back Anthony Ralston.
With the visit of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain next week on Champions League duty and a host of injuries affecting the Celtic manager’s selection choices, Rodgers is likely to shuffle his deck to avoid further concerns ahead of Tuesday’s European tie.
Craig Gordon is almost certain to retain his place in goal with Kieran Tierney and Mikael Lustig in their familiar full-back positions.
Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton is likely to continue to fill in in defence, partnering the returning Jozo Simunovic, although Rodgers could bring Norwegian wonderkid Kris Ajer in for Bitton.
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Captain Scott Brown should anchor the midfield alongside recent signing Olivier Ntcham as the Hoops look to continue their phenomenal domestic run of unbeaten games.
Ahead of Brown and Ntcham sees the biggest change in personnel with three of the four who started against Tommy Wright’s Saints replaced.
Paddy Roberts should come in for James Forrest to make his second Celtic debut while Stuart Armstrong – after two fantastic displays for Scotland – is likely to replace Tom Rogic.
Scott Sinclair will most likely continue on the left wing but with Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths nursing injuries, loan signing Odsonne Edouard could lead the line ahead of the visit of his parent club on Tuesday night.
In other Celtic news, they have been given a double boost ahead of the Champions League.