Celtic expected 4-2-3-1 v Rangers: Attacking duo axed among three changes
By James Black
Celtic travel to Ibrox on Saturday lunchtime and Brendan Rodgers is likely to make three changes to the side which beat Dundee 4-0 on Wednesday night.
Despite using a three-man defence in the majority of domestic games so far, Celtic will probably go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation which served them so well last season.
Last season’s top scorer Moussa Dembele should return to the starting XI at the expense of Leigh Griffiths, Tony Ralston looks set to replace Mikael Lustig and Tom Rogic will likely come in for Paddy Roberts.
The Hoops currently lead their bitter rivals by 5 points in the Scottish Premiership and a win at Ibrox would put an end to the Gers’ title hopes this early in the year.
Scott Brown will be key to Celtic’s success at Ibrox and who lines up beside the captain is one of the tougher choices Rodgers face with Stuart Armstrong and Olivier Ntcham both vying to start.
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The Frenchman will likely get the nod ahead of Armstrong despite going off the boil a little in recent weeks.
Ntcham played against Dundee, leading some fans to speculate Armstrong will start, but the game will suit Ntcham a bit better sitting deeper beside Brown.
Ahead of them, James Forrest is an absolute must in Rodgers’ starting XI.
The 26-year-old has scored four goals in his last two games and is in some of the best form of his Celtic career so far.
Forrest starting means Paddy Roberts will have to settle for a place on the bench after his disappointing display against Dundee.
Roberts has gone extreme to the other in a few weeks after returning to Parkhead but it’s more Forrest’s form that keeps him out more than his own lack thereof.
Scott Sinclair and Tom Rogic will make up the rest of the bank of 3 behind main striker Moussa Demebele.
Rogic’s creativity is a problem for most defences and will see him in ahead of a second out-and-out striker.
In other Celtic news, Sutton has chosen whether the Hoops or Rangers have the best goalkeeper.