By Frank McAvennie

18th Dec, 2020 | 5:00pm

'I'm Hearing Whispers...' - Exclusive: McAvennie drops big Celtic starting XI claim

Frank McAvennie has tipped Neil Lennon to reinstate Celtic captain Scott Brown into his starting XI for Sunday’s Scottish Cup final.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the legendary former Celtic striker claimed he was “hearing whispers” Lennon was going to change his side for the clash with Hearts.

Brown, 35, has been left on the bench in the Hoops’ last two games – the only games he has missed this season.

Young players David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro lined up with Callum McGregor in the midfield in the Bhoys’ wins over Lille in the Europa League and Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership.

The two victories ended a run of just two wins in 12 games and McAvennie has called on the pair to retain their places to keep the winning run going.

He told Football Insider“I am hearing whispers that Neil Lennon is going to change it back for the cup final.

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“He wants to be faithful to the boys that have got him to the Cup final. My thoughts would be – keep the run going.

“I like the enthusiasm that Soro and Turnbull have brought to the team and that has brought the best out of McGregor.

“If he brings the old boys back they might get slaughtered for not having the energy. It is a hard one but I would keep the young boys on.

“I would keep Scott on the bench until late on and then bring him on so he can lift the cup.”

Lennon told the Scottish Sun Brown has a “chance” of starting against Hearts at Hampden Park on Sunday.

He said: “At the end of the day, he is an icon at the club – a modern-day great. And he may have a chance of starting on Sunday.”

In other news, Celtic have been tipped to sign a Ryan Kent-like signing after a big January reveal.