By Frank McAvennie

19th Dec, 2020 | 5:00pm

Pundit Exclusive: Celtic 23-yr-old tipped for cup final axe after early team news reveal

Frank McAvennie has tipped Diego Laxalt to replace Greg Taylor in the Celtic starting XI for Sunday’s Scottish Cup final.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the legendary former Parkhead striker claimed the Uruguay international dropped to the bench against Kilmarnock as a precaution.

Lennon revealed to the BBC after their 2-0 win over Killie that Laxalt had a “slight foot problem but it’s nothing too serious”.

Speaking ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Hearts, the northern Irishman claimed he had no fresh injury concerns.

After arriving on loan from AC Milan in October, Laxalt has displaced Taylor, 23, as Lennon’s first-choice left-back.

The game against Kilmarnock was the first fixture he has not started for the Bhoys since his arrival but he was introduced from the bench with nine minutes remaining.

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Taylor, 23, was handed his first start since the beginning of October against Kilmarnock but McAvennie expects him to drop to the bench at Hampden Park.

He told Football Insider“I think Lenny will bring Laxalt back in for the cup final.

“I think he was only brought out of the side because of a wee strain. He did not want to risk him.

“Greg is a safe pair of hands but some of the tackles Laxalt makes are incredible.

“He gets himself about the pitch better so I think he will start the cup final.”

Laxalt, 27, has played 14 times for Celtic across all competitions and netted his first Hoops goal with a last-minute equaliser against Hibs last month.

The 27-year-old spent last season on loan from AC Milan at fellow Serie A side Torino.

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