Celtic will travel to Russia to take on Zenit St. Petersburg at the Krestovsky Stadium on Thursday night at the back of a narrow 1-0 victory against the Russian giants in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie. Brendan Rodgers is expected to name an unchanged squad from last week and could opt for the same striking combination up top. The Hoops dropped two points in the league versus St. Johnstone on Sunday so Rodgers will be hoping his side can return to winning ways by securing a famous win in Russia.
The Scottish champions’ last visit to Russia was against Spartak Moskva in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage when they secured a 2-1 victory. It is expected that Rodgers will line up with an attacking 3-5-1-1 formation to help them in their quest to secure a result on Thursday night which will take them through to the next round of the European competition.
3-5-1-1 Celtic Predicted Lineup To Face Zenit St. Petersburg
Dorus de Vries is expected to resume his duties in the Celtic goal after the Hoops first-choice goalkeeper Craig Gordon fell victim to a knee injury last month which will keep him out for the immediate future. He might be protected by a back three of Kristoffer Ajer, Jozo Šimunović, and Mikael Lustig in central defence.
Brendan Rodgers’ men have only conceded 18 goals in 27 league matches and also kept a crucial clean sheet in the first leg of their Europa League clash with Zenit. The Celtic manager will hope that his defenders can secure another shutout against the Russians to ensure progression into the next round of the competition on Thursday night.
The trio of Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham, and Eboue Kouassi might once again be used as holding midfielders who will be responsible to shield their backline while also linking up play with the attackers. Kieran Tierney will start on the left flank while James Forrest operates on the right-hand side of the midfield.
Moussa Dembele is set to start up top and Callum McGregor might play behind him in the number 10 position. McGregor has been in sensational form of late and scored the only goal in the first leg.
Dembele will be desperate to get in on the goalscoring act following a mediocre first-half to his campaign. It is expected that one of those players will make the difference if the Hoops are to secure qualification at the Krestovsky Stadium on Thursday night.