Dembele to lead line in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI to face Rangers
COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Moussa Dembele should lead the line for Celtic in the Old Firm clash against Rangers.
The club’s talisman Leigh Griffiths is a major doubt for Saturday’s 12pm match and Brendan Rodgers is set to be without the prolific striker.
Rodgers should favour a fully-fit Dembele against the risk of playing Griffiths, who could only aggravate his injury further.
Celtic already have a suitable replacement in 20-year-old Dembele who could even prove to be a greater danger to the Rangers defence.
Dembele’s speed is likely to cause experienced defender Philippe Senderos a huge problem and could be an area that Rodgers targets for the meeting at Celtic Park.
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The only other change from the side that beat Aberdeen before the international break should see new signing Cristian Gamboa start.
The defender joined from West Brom and should be given the opportunity to cement the right-back position over Saidy Janko and Mikael Lustig.
Celtic are beginning to build a settled backline and Dorus de Vries should keep net behind Kieran Tierney, Kolo Toure, Erik Sviatchenko and Gamboa.
The experience of captain Scott Brown will be a crucial factor for the Rangers clash and he should partner Nir Bitton in the midfield positions.
In attack, Celtic are blessed with several in-form players to pick from and Scott Sinclair, Tom Rogic and James Forrest should continue in the starting XI.
Sinclair has scored four goals in six games and could prove a real handful against the Ibrox rivals.
That leaves youngster Dembele to lead the line and he will hope to replicate his heroics against Astana, when his last minute penalty helped Celtic progress from their European play-off tie.
Celtic can extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a win to four points, but a loss will see Mark Warburton’s men leapfrog them into first place, although they will have played one more game.
In other Celtic team news, Brendan Rodgers has been rewarded for his new side’s impeccable start to the season.