Celtic will travel to the Telia Parken stadium to take on Danish opponents F.C. Copenhagen in the first leg of the round of 32 fixtures of the Europa League. Neil Lennon’s men are going in this game on the back of a narrow win againt Aberdeen. However, the Hoops have been in blistering form since the turn of the year as they have won all of their last nine encounters, conceding just four goals in the process.
The last time Celtic squared up against Copenhagen was in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage. Celtic managed to win 1-0 at home but lost 3-1 away. Winter break in Denmark has just gotten over, and Copenhagen lost their last game against Esbjerg by one goal to nil. Many are seeing Celtic as the clear favourites for this encounter.
Team News: Hatem Abd Elhamed and Michael Johnston are still on the treatment table. Jozo Simunovic missed the last game against Aberdeen due to a hamstring issue, and his situation could be touch and go for Thursday’s encounter. Greg Taylor is also a doubt for this clash after he limped off against the Dons.
4-2-3-1 Celtic Predicted Lineup Vs F.C. Copenhagen
3-5-2 formation has paid rich dividends for Celtic since the winter break, but they might revert to 4-2-3-1 for this European tie.
Fraser Forster is expected to start in goal again. With Taylor a doubt, Lennon might opt for the experience of Jonny Hayes in this game. He should start at left-back. Kristoffer Ajer is expected to keep his place in defence. Christopher Jullien is likely to partner him at the back. Jeremie Frimpong could return in the right-back spot to complete the back four.
Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are likely to feature in midfield. Brown will be in a more conservative role whereas McGregor will look to orchestrate attacks from the middle.
Ryan Christie could play on the left flank. However, Lennon has even tried him as an inverted winger in some of the games so he could feature from the right as well. Olivier Ntcham has been in good form since the break, and he might be able to keep his place as the attacking midfielder. James Forrest has done a decent job as a wing-back but should relish the chance of playing as a more outright winger from the right flank.
Odsonne Edouard can do no wrong at the moment, and he has been in terrific form of late. He is expected to lead the line alone in this encounter. Leigh Griffiths misses out.