Duo axed in Rodgers 4-2-3-1: Celtic best possible XI to face Manchester City
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Brendan Rodgers should pack the Celtic midfield if they are to hold out against Manchester City’s explosive attack.
An injury to playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is a huge boost to Celtic’s chances, but the Hoops must still deal with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and David Silva if they are to secure a result.
The best chance of achieving that will be by reinforcing the midfield, defending in numbers and getting 10 players behind the ball. Australian Tom Rogic will drop into a deeper role, as will wingers Scott Sinclair and James Forrest when City are in possession.
When the Hoops win the ball back against Pep Guardiola’s side, pacy duo Sinclair and Forrest can spring into life and support lone striker Moussa Dembele on the counter attack.
Elsewhere, former West Brom right-back Cristian Gamboa should come in to start at right-back over Swedish star Mikael Lustig. The South American’s pace will be crucial to Celtic’s hopes of keeping in-form Sterling quiet.
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Goalkeeper Craig Gordon is also expected to start, after Dorus de Vries picked up a chest injury against Kilmarnock. The former Sunderland keeper was already in line for a start as de Vries has conceded 12 times in six league and cup games.
Experienced defender Kolo Toure misses out as Rodgers is likely to allow Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko to continue their partnership at the heart of the defence.
Despite scoring from the bench on Saturday, Leigh Griffiths is expected to sit this one out as Rodgers looks to play with three midfielders and pace up front in Dembele.
In other Celtic team news, fans have reacted on Twitter to drawing Old Firm rivals Rangers in the cup.