Celtic would be taking on Fk Suduva this week to ensure their qualification to the Europa League at least. They have a slight advantage as they managed an away goal in Lithuania, but it was far from convincing from Brendan Rodgers’ men who were expected to play in the Champions League group stages.
They got off to a dream start as Olivier Ntcham opened the scoring in the third minute but couldn’t sustain the lead for long. The defence had been a significant cause of concern for the Hoops, and they would be hoping that the return of Dedryck Boayata would solve that problem to some extent. They cannot take the tie lightly, and the Bhoys have everything to play for at the Parkhead.
After the first leg encounter, Rodgers landed a scathing attack on his defenders and said,”We seem to lack concentration. That is a problem for us. And a pride, really, in terms of defending. That is pretty clear. In games like this one, especially away from home, we have got to really demonstrate that hunger not to concede. It was too easy for them.”
Odsonne Edouard is going to be a big miss for Rodgers. Jozo Simunovic has injured his ankle and is not expected to be back for this clash. Marvin Compper is struggling with fitness, and it is yet not clear whether he would be fit in time for this encounter.
Celtic’s Predicted Lineup
Experienced Craig Gordon would be expected to start in goal, and he will be hoping for a better performance from his backline to protect him. Rodgers has gone in with a back three off late, and we expect him to continue that even in this game as well. Boyata should start in the heart of the defence, and he would be partnered by Kristoffer Ajer and Mikael Lustig on either of his sides.
Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown will form the engine room of the team by starting in the middle of the park. Out wide, full-back cum winger Kieran Tierney will play down the left, and young James Forrest should start down the right flank.
Tom Rogic will be playing in the hole behind the strikers, and he will have the creative onus on his shoulders.
Moussa Dembele is a nailed on starter in the absence of Odsonne Edouard. Rodgers will have a decision to make in choosing his partner though. We believe, young 19-year-old forward Michael Johnston will edge over Leigh Griffiths to get a place in the starting eleven.