Rangers’ dreadful domestic run this year has guided Celtic towards widening the gap at the top of the Premiership standings. Lennon’s men are the frontrunners to conquer the crown for the ninth successive campaign but, at the same time, they must remain cautious ahead of Wednesday night’s contest against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Although the Hoops clinched a thumping 4-0 win at Celtic Park in their previous meeting, the last outing at Almondvale resulted in a 2-0 humiliation for the Scottish champions following a couple of second-half goals from Scott Robinson and Lyndon Dykes. Livi, currently fifth in the league tally, must be aiming a ‘top three’ finish and therefore, should go for all three points in familiar surroundings.
Predicted 3-5-2 Celtic Lineup Vs Livingston
Celtic Team News vs Livingston
The Bhoys continue to be without Michael Johnston who is ruled out for the season with a knee injury. Neil Lennon, meanwhile, is worried about James Forrest and Kristoffer Ajer’s fitness following their gruelling Scottish Cup quarterfinal tie versus St. Johnstone.
“He’s (Forrest) got a bit of a dead leg, but I think he should be ok. Kris Ajer’s got a bit of a thigh strain as well. The game took a lot out of us physically, so we’ll see how they are in the next couple of days.”
The above was revealed the Northern Irishman while speaking to BBC Sportsound (01/03/2020, 29:01) on Sunday evening in the aftermath of progressing through to the semis of the competition.
Celtic Formation vs Livingston
Lennon has switched his set-up time and again but is likely to field his men in a 3-5-2 formation against the Lions, particularly after European nightmare against F.C. Copenhagen.
Fraser Forster has secured a starting role between the sticks since rejoining the Hoops on loan from Southampton. The Three Lions international will once again keep his place ahead of Craig Gordon and Scott Bain.
Jozo Simunovic might return to action if Kristoffer Ajer fails to recover from his thigh strain. Nir Bitton should occupy a central role whereas Christopher Jullien is likely to feature as a left centre-half to maintain balance in the ‘back three’.
Lennon is sweating over the fitness of James Forrest but is hopeful of having him back in time for the Livi game. Jeremie Frimpong might get the nod otherwise to slot in as a right wingback. Greg Taylor has grabbed a starting status of late ahead of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo. However, the manager should prefer the experience of Jonny Hayes in the left wingback role.
Skipper Scott Brown would retain his place in the middle of the park alongside Callum McGregor, who has been effective while operating box-to-box. Ryan Christie received marching orders the last time Celtic played at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Yet, he must be relied upon once more as a ‘number 10’ for his sheer excellence all season.
Leigh Griffiths has recovered his lost ground to some extent and is expected to be lined up alongside in-form Odsonne Edouard. Patryk Klimala and Vakoun Issouf Bayo will keep their place among the substitutes and might be called into action if the situation demands.
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