Reigning Premiership champions Celtic will be looking to continue their winning run in the league when they travel to McDiarmid Park to take on St. Johnstone this weekend. The Celts are coming into this tie on the back of a midweek win against Sarajevo, in a match that secured European football for them this season. Having now completed their qualification process for the UEFA Europa League, Neil Lennon’s men will now be able to focus their full attention towards catching Rangers on the league table. The 1-0 win saw French striker Odsonne Edouard scoring the only goal of the evening.
The Celts’ last league match was a comfortable 3-0 win against Hibernian last Saturday. Callum McGregor opened the scoring for the home side within the opening ten minutes in that tie, and it was all smooth sailing from there on in. Albian Ajeti doubled their advantage in the first-half before an added insurance goal from Mohamed Elyounoussi made sure that all three points stayed at Parkhead. With St. Johnstone boasting an abysmal league record of just two wins from their nine outings so far, this tie could turn out to be a walk in the park for Lennon’s high-flying side.
Celtic have been extremely fortunate in terms of injuries and other knocks ever since the start of the season. Apart from the slight issue picked up by the odd player, Lennon has had almost a full-strength roster to make his selection from every week. Speedster James Forrest is the only first-team player who is unavailable for this tie. Having picked up clean sheet victories in their last three matches as well, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lennon stick with a similar formation and team, for this upcoming clash as well.
Here Is The Predicted 3-5-2 Celtic Lineup Vs St.Johnstone:
Predicted 3-5-2 Celtic Lineup Vs St.Johnstone
Greek keeper Vasilis Barkas was brought in during the summer window as competition to Scott Bain, and it’s safe to say that he has made the starting role his own in between the sticks. In front of the former AEK Athens man, expect to see the same back-three that has managed to keep clean-sheets in their last three fixtures across all competitions. Nir Bitton has been utilised as a right-sided centre-half, and it must be conceded that he has done an excellent job. Alongside him, expect to see Brighton loanee Shane Duffy and promising Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer.
The core of this Celtic team will be filled by the two usual suspects in midfield – Scott Brown and Callum McGregor. While the latter will have the freedom to get forward and try and link up the play in attack, the skipper will primarily be tasked with the pivot role in front of the central defenders. The wide duo of Greg Taylor and Jeremie Frimpong are likely to start on the flanks, as the pair is responsible for a majority of the width that this Celtic team creates. Ryan Christie started the midweek clash against Sarajevo, which means he could be replaced by Olivier Ntcham in a slightly advanced midfield role.
Odsonne Edouard started Thursday’s win in the Europa League, and it was his eventual goal that proved to be the difference between the sides. Despite not playing the full ninety minutes, expect the Frenchman to drop down to the bench for this fixture. Swiss striker Albian Ajeti could be given the nod instead by Neil Lennon, as the attacker didn’t play any part in the midweek game. Mohamed Elyounoussi is a name who played the entirety of the ninety minutes against Sarajevo, but considering the form that he has been in, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him start once again on the weekend.