Kris Boyd: One of the six Celtic players to be omitted from Scotland XI v Slovenia
By Will Butcher
Kris Boyd has predicted that Gordon Strachan will choose five Celtic players in his starting eleven to face Slovenia on Sunday evening.
Strachan is under huge pressure to get a result at Hampden Park, after a disappointing draw against Canada on Wednesday night and their 2018 World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.
Boyd told the Scottish Sun he would include Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Scott Brown, James Forrest and Stuart Armstrong in his starting line-up, leaving 26-year-old striker Leigh Griffiths on the bench.
“I’d imagine he will have Craig Gordon in goal with a back four of Ikechi Anya, Christope Berra, Charlie Mulgrew and Kieran Tierney,” former Rangers striker Boyd said.
“In midfield I reckon he’ll have Darren Fletcher and Scott Brown sitting with James Forrest on the right, Matt Ritchie on the left and Stuart Armstrong in the hole. That’s five Celtic players, guys at the top of their game.
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“Up top Chris Martin has as much chance of starting as anyone.”
Boyd also picked Ikechi Anya at right-back, alongside Christophe Berra and Charlie Mulgrew. Darren Fletcher would partner Brown in midfield, while Matt Ritchie would start on the left.
Boyd, who currently plays for Kilmarnock, believes Chris Martin will start his second successive match, keeping Griffiths on the bench with Jordan Rhodes and Steven Fletcher.
Former Dundee United midfielder Armstrong would be set to win his first ever Scotland cap after starring for Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic, while Griffiths would be made to wait to break his international duck.
Three points for Strachan’s men would see them climb to a much healthier third place in Group F, if England beat Lithuania and Malta secure an unlikely victory over Slovakia.
In other Celtic news, fans have responded to Griffiths brilliant response to a Rangers fan on Twitter.