Celtic will look to overcome their timid display in the Europa League from midweek as they prepare to take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the Scottish Premiership. Brendan Rodgers and co. would be disappointed with their performance in midweek but their main aim is to secure a ‘treble-treble’ at the end of this campaign.
The two teams met in December last time, and Celtic managed to demolish the Killie by five goals to one. However, in an earlier tie back in September at Rugby Park, Kilmarnock managed to pull off an upset as they defeated the reigning Scottish Champions 2-1. The Hoops need to keep up their good work as they are yet to drop any points since the winter break. There is no doubt that they would go in as the clear favourites in this tie.
Team News: Kieran Tierney still seems some time away from coming back into the first team as he was not part of the match against Valencia. Eboue Kouassi, Tom Rogic, Filip Benkovic and Daniel Arzani are long term absentees at the moment. Olivier Ntcham is also a major doubt.
Celtic Predicted lineup vs Kilmarnock
Scott Bain has firmly established himself as the no. 1 keeper in goal after the winter break, and he is likely to start in between the sticks once again. Dedryck Boyata is more or less nailed on to start in the heart of the defence. We believe Kristoffer Ajer should partner him at the back after a poor performance from Jozo Simunovic against Valencia.
Emilio Izaguirre was found wanting for the most parts in the midweek clash, and Jonny Hayes seems like a better alternative at the moment to start as the left back in the absence of Kieran Tierney. New signing Jeremy Toljan should keep his place as a right-back.
With Ntcham still a doubt, Rodgers cannot rotate much in the central midfield positions. Therefore we expect the duo of Callum McGregor and Scott Brown to start. Brown would be in a more conservative role whereas McGregor will have the onus to provide creative output from midfield.
Ryan Christie should start as an attacking midfielder. His performance has dipped slightly in the past few games, and the manager would hope that he is back to his best soon. Timothy Weah could get the nod ahead of James Forrest to operate down the right flank. Scott Sinclair should keep his place on the left side of the Celtic midfield.
Oliver Burke has been Rodgers’ go-to man to start up front, and we expect him to lead the line once again.
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