Former Celtic and Scotland manager Gordon Strachan believes that Leigh Griffiths should get the nod to start up-front for the Hoops in the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers on Sunday.

Despite scoring the winning goal against Hamilton in the Hoops’ most recent league match, Griffiths isn’t the favourite to start up-front with Moussa Dembele likely to start.

Strachan is a fan of the 27-year-old though and believes that he has all the attributes the Hoops need in a striker.

“There’s a case for Griff because he’s never let them down when he’s played,” Strachan said, as quoted by the Scotsman.

“You can say in terms of defending set-plays and attacking set-plays you lose a bit of height but actually, in free play, when the ball goes in the box, he’s good in the air.

“So he’s come on brilliantly in that regard. Big games, they might go for power, but Griff gives you something else.”

Griffiths’ season has been affected by injury, having missed two months with a calf problem, but he is back and raring to go and will be desperate to start the semi-final.

Football Insider verdict

Despite the words of the former Celtic boss, it seems highly likely that Brendan Rodgers will keep Griffiths on the bench for the Scottish Cup semi-final. It’s been a case of bad timing for the 27-year-old this season, as just when it looked as if he was going to establish himself as the main striker at the club, he got injured and has mostly found himself on the bench since making his return. There’s no doubt that Griffiths can be effective off the bench – look at the winning goal against Hamilton – but there’s no doubt he would much rather start the game, but that seems unlikely to happen.

In other Celtic news, fans have named a player they want the Hoops to sell in the summer

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