Sky Sports pundit: Celtic must axe fan favourite for Rangers clash
By Danny Wright
Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas believes that Brendan Rodgers must axe Patrick Roberts from his starting line-up to face Rangers on Saturday and replace him with James Forrest.
Forrest, 26, has been in irresistible form in recent weeks, scoring four goals in his last two outings against both Ross County and Dundee, taking his tally up to seven strikes in 15 appearances across all competitions.
Roberts, 20, developed into a fan favourite at Celtic Park during his 18-month loan spell from Manchester City, which ended at the climax of last season.
However since returning for a second spell, the England youth international is yet to score or supply a goal in his opening three matches.
Now, Sky Sports pundit Nicholas believes that it is an obvious choice for Rodgers to wield the axe and drop Roberts ahead of the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox on Saturday after starting against Dundee in the League Cup in midweek.
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“Brendan Rodgers has to go with the man in form and that means James Forrest should be unleashed against Rangers – ahead of Patrick Roberts,” said Nicholas on the Express website.
“I know Roberts has come in as Celtic’s marquee signing and their big-game hunter, but Forrest is very much the man of the moment”.
He added: “The Manchester City player is the better footballer but it is not about trickery in the Old Firm games. It is about pinning Rangers in and using your pace, knowing and understanding the game.
“Forrest does precisely that and is fitter than Roberts just now so it is a no-brainer.”
Due to the strength of Celtic over Rangers, it perhaps doesn’t matter too much who Rodgers opts to ulitise in attack, especially when Pedro Caixinha has a defensive headache ahead of the fixture.
Scott Sinclair is pretty much nailed on to start while there are also question marks about whether Moussa Dembele or Leigh Griffiths will lead the front line.
In other Celtic news, Sinclair has said why this Hoops star doesn’t get enough credit.