GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: Celtic Manager Neil Lennon looks on prior to the UEFA Europa League Play Off First Leg match between Celtic and AIK at Celtic Park on August 22, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Matchday 1 of the UEFA Europa League 2019/20 sees Celtic make the trip to square off against Rennes side managed by Julien Stephan. Neil Lennon’s Celtic have been placed in Group E along with Lazio, Cluj, and Rennes. 

The Bhoys are going through a good run of form and could be too hot to handle for their French opposition with five victories out of five possible matches. Rennes, on the other hand, started their Ligue 1 season on a high note with wins against Paris Saint Germain and Strasbourg but have seen a decline in form ever since. 

The two sides have faced each other before in the very same competition, and Celtic emerged as 4-2 winners over the course of the two-legged fixture. 

Celtic are entering this fixture with several players in the sick-bay. Jozo Simunovic, Nir Bitton, Luca Connell, Mikey, Johnston, and Marian Shved are all out of contention for this fixture as confirmed by Lennon before this highly-anticipated fixture against Rennes. 

Here’s how Celtic are expected to take to the field against Rennes in their Europa League opener:

Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup Vs Rennes

Formation – (4-3-3)

Defence

Fraser Forster is set to start in goal and would be looking to hold onto a clean sheet against a Rennes side which has only scored once in its last two fixtures. Elhamed is expected to start at the right-back position following his impressive performance against Hamilton. 

Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien are most likely to be Celtic’s centre back partnership for this fixture. Ajer made a return from injury against Hamilton and delivered an extremely pacifying performance in the backline. The industrious Mbombo would be occupying the left-back position.

Midfield

The trio of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and Ryan Christie are expected to retain their place in the Celtic starting eleven. The trio started Celtic’s last Premiership fixture against Hamilton. McGregor would want to add a bit more charisma and precision to his performance against Rennes after being marginally below par in the previous game.

Attack

James Forrest is set to start on the right-hand side after scoring an early and decisive goal against Hamilton. Odsonne Edouard would be starting in the number nine position with Mohamed Elyounoussi on his other side.

Predicted Line-Up

Fraser Forster

Hatem Elhamed – Kristoffer Ajer  – Christopher Jullien – Mbombo

Scott Brown – Callum McGregor – Ryan Christie 

James Forrest –  Odsonne Edouard – Mohamed Elyounoussi