Celtic expected 4-2-3-1 v Partick: Wholesale changes sees 25-year-old mainstay axed
By Danny Wright
Celtic are expected to make eight changes to their squad as Brendan Rodgers’ men return to Scottish Premiership action in Friday night’s visit to Partick Thistle.
The Hoops made a host of adjustments for Tuesday’s League Cup clash with Kilmarnock, meaning that Rodgers is likely to revert back to the team that thrashed Hearts on the opening day of the league last weekend.
That means that eight changes are likely to be made by the Scottish champions, with Stuart Armstrong, who was a mainstay of the squad last season, heading the list of players that could see themselves axed.
The 25-year-old only appeared for a few minutes in the 4-1 victory over Hearts when he came off the bench to replace summer signing Olivier Ntcham, who is once again likely to be named in Rodgers’ trusty 4-2-3-1 formation.
Craig Gordon is expected to keep hold of his tight grip on the No 1 spot behind a back four which sees Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton replace Kristoffer Ajer, Anthony Ralston and Calvin Miller.
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Kieran Tierney played in the centre of defence in the 5-0 win over Kilmarnock and is very likely to revert to his natural left-back role for the visit to Partick’s Firhill Stadium.
Scott Brown is likely to partner Ntcham in the centre of the park after Eboue Koussi picked up an injury in the League Cup victory.
Scott Sinclair, Callum McGregor and James Forrest are all expected to return in the attacking midfield positions, coming in for Jonny Hayes, Kundai Benyu and Tom Rogic.
With Moussa Dembele still injured, Leigh Griffiths could be keeping his place in the team with Gordon and Tierney being the only ones to play the midweek fixture.
Partick were only one of a handful of teams to hold Celtic to a draw in their unbeaten domestic campaign last time out.
They drew 1-1 at Parkhead in April, but last season’s fixture at Firhill Park saw the Bhoys run out emphatic 5-0 victors thanks to goals from Griffiths, Rogic, McGregor and a double by Patrick Roberts.