Rangers’ slip last week allowed Celtic to reclaim the top of the table spot in their ‘nine in a row mission’. They left it late but secured a commanding 4-1 win over a ten-man Hamilton Academical to extend the gap. The Hoops will travel to Fir Park next and clash heads with Motherwell on Wednesday night in a tricky contest on the road.
The Steelmen, currently third in the Premiership standings, are aiming European experience next season. But they suffered a 5-2 humiliation at home versus the Bhoys earlier this campaign and therefore, must raise their game this midweek to avoid a similar embarrassment.
Celtic Team News vs Motherwell
Celtic have a few injury absentees in their ranks. Hatem Abd Elhamed is still out with a groin strain whereas Jeremie Frimpong, their teenage sensation, is sidelined with a knee injury. Michael Johnston is ruled out for months after rupturing his cruciate ligament versus St. Johnstone. Mohamed Elyounoussi [foot], Jozo Simunovic [knee] and Nir Bitton [hamstring] are unlikely to recover in time before the Motherwell clash.
Celtic Formation vs Motherwell
Neil Lennon has experimented with team set-ups, formations and fielded them in various patterns since his reappointment as the Parkhead chief. He has preferred a 3-5-2 formation of late but should switch to a 4-2-3-1 against their midweek opponents to deal with the fitness constraints.
Celtic Predicted Lineup vs Motherwell
The Hoops have Fraser Forster, on loan from Southampton, who has restored the stability in between the sticks and grabbed a starting role ahead of Craig Gordon and Scott Bain.
Lennon, meanwhile, opted for a three-man backline against the Accies and handed academy prodigy Stephen Welsh a debut alongside Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer. But the gaffer should line up a ‘back four’ versus the Well and bring Moritz Bauer back in his preferred right-back role. Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo has been dropped following an array of underwhelming outings and Greg Taylor, who had to wait patiently for his opportunities, has now attained back to back starts ahead of Jonny Hayes.
Celtic skipper Scott Brown is still irreplaceable at the centre of the pitch as he will offer a lot in terms of his desire, determination and destructiveness in midfield. He, alongside Callum McGregor, form a balanced central midfield which is versatile, direct and commanding too. Olivier Ntcham has been impressive since being reintegrated to the first-team set-up, whereas the presence of Ryan Christie and James Forrest down the wide would add more variety in terms of creative spark.
Leigh Griffiths has regained his lost touch to some extent. Yet Lennon should start on-fire Odsonne Edouard up front who scored a brace on Sunday afternoon and staged a comeback against the Accies after he broke the deadlock around the half-hour mark.
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