Celtic travel to the Toto Jacob Turner Stadium to play Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the second leg of the Champions League playoffs holding a big advantage from the first leg. The Hoops absolutely thrashed the Israeli giants in the first leg at Paradise. A 5-2 score line in favour of the Bhoys speaks for it. However, Brendan Rodgers must be careful while approaching the game considering the heartache Celtic had to deal in the last seasons.
During the two seasons under Ronny Deila, Celtic failed to make it to the group stage of the elite competition in Europe losing out against Maribor and Malmo respectively. Even though Brendan Rodgers’ side have a big advantage over the Israeli side from the first leg, the last thing the Northern Irishman would want from his side is complacency. Just ninety minutes stand in Celtic’s way to make it to the Champions League and truth to be told, Hapoel Be’er Sheva have to come up with something special to turn around the deficit.
Hapoel Be’er Sheva
Captain and last season’s top scorer Elyaniv Barda will miss the game with an injury while Portuguese defender Miguel Vitor is also a major doubt.
Celtic have been given a major boost with Erik Sviatchenko returning from injury. Nir Bitton is also with the travelling squad but Dedryck Boyata, Patrick Roberts and Dorus de Vries all are missing with injuries. Efe Ambrose has been left behind once again.
Predicted lineups and tactical setups
Hapoel Be’er Sheva
The Israeli side are likely to opt for a 4-3-3 formation. Goresh will be between the sticks behind the back four of Bitton, Zedek, Vitor and Davidazde. The midfield trio will be Hoban, Brown and Ogu. Melikson, Maranhão, Nwakaeme are likely to be the attacking trio for Barak Bakhar’s side.
Predicted starting XI- Goresh; Bitton, Zedek, Vitor, Davidazde; Hoban, Brown, Ogu; Melikson, Maranhão, Nwakaeme
Celtic are likely to stick to their favoured 4-2-3-1 formation. Gordon is likely to start under the bar behind the back four of Lustig, Sviatchenko, Toure and Tierney. Scott Brown will start in midfield alongside Callum McGregor. Rogic should start as the number ten with Sinclair and Forrest on the flanks. Leigh Griffiths is as always banging goals for fun this season and will spearhead the attack for the Hoops.
Predicted starting XI- Gordon; Lustig, Sviatchenko, Toure, Tierney; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair; Griffiths
We predict a 1-2 win for Celtic.