Celtic started their Premiership campaign in fine fashion with a 1-2 away win against Heart of Midlothian FC on Sunday. Brendan Rodgers’ latest summer signing Scott Sinclair announced himself to Scottish football in some style as he scored the winner in the 81st minute after coming on from the bench for Stuart Armstrong in the 61st minute. The immediate impact made by the English winger surely will give a massive morale boost to the Hoops.
Celtic face a tricky opponent in Motherwell in the round of 16 of the Scottish League Cup. Mark McGhee’s side started their Premiership campaign on a high with a 1-2 win against Kilmarnock last weekend. Celtic have to be wary of the fact that their fellow Premiership side are no pushovers and Rodgers cannot be complacent about the game. We expect plenty of rotations from managers in League Cup games but Rodgers cannot afford to make too many changes to his starting XI.
Here is the predicted lineup of Celtic against Motherwell.
Craig Gordon is likely to keep his place under the bar. Brendan Rodgers is likely to make changes in both full-back positions as Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney could be rested for Saidy Janko and Emilio Izaguirre respectively. Dedryck Boyata (Thigh problems), Erik Sviatchenko (Knee injury), Jozo Simunovic (Torn ligament in the knee) – all are unavailable for the game which means Rodgers does not have the luxury to make any alterations to his centre-back pairing. Kolo Toure and youngster Eoghan O’Connell will keep their places at the heart of the defence.
Nir Bitton could be available for the game and Rodgers will like to bring on the Algerian to bring his match fitness back. Stefan Johansen is also in line for a start in midfield. Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are likely to be rested for the game.
Tom Rogic has not been able to impress Rodgers much since the Northern Irishman’s arrival and this game could be his chance to prove his worth to the manager. The Aussie international is likely to start as the number ten. Scott Sinclair could also get his first start at Celtic while James Forrest is likely to retain his place after successfully reviving his career under Rodgers.
Leigh Griffiths might be rested for the game which means Moussa Dembele would be the sole striker up front. The young Frenchman has had a slow start at Celtic and he will be keen to display his true caliber as soon as he can.