Mainstay quartet axed in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI to face Hamilton
By James Black
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will need to make four changes to the side which drew 1-1 with St. Johnstone if he wants to field his strongest XI for the trip to Hamilton on Friday night.
Jozo Simunovic, Kris Ajer, Stuart Armstrong and Paddy Roberts should come in for 2017-18 mainstays Nir Bitton, Anthony Ralston, James Forrest and Tom Rogic as the Bhoys try to maintain their incredible domestic form.
Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton has been filling-in in defence recently while Simunovic and Dedryck Boyata have been missing through injury but with Bosnian defender Simunovic fit again he must return to the heart of Celtic’s defence immediately.
Ajer has had a handful of appearances this season after a successful loan at Kilmarnock and the Norwegian needs to be given the chance to continue his development by playing regular first-team football.
Classy midfielder Armstrong is a player who is continuing to grow in confidence with every game and, as his two performances for Scotland in the past week have shown, he is as good a player as there is in Scotland.
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Fresh from completing another loan from Manchester City, English winger Paddy Roberts will be absolutely vital to any success Celtic have this season.
After trying to secure him on an £8million transfer, it shows the high regard in which the Celtic management team hold him in and he’s a surefire starter in any strongest Celtic XI.
With Moussa Dembele still a few weeks taway from fitness, Leigh Griffiths is the obvious choice to lead the line.
Rodgers might choose to rest him for the trip to Hamilton after picking up a knock on Scotland duty but, if fit, Griffiths should start at the SuperSeal Stadium.
In other Celtic news, they have been given a double boost ahead of the Champions League.