Premiership giants Celtic will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league when they travel to Pittodrie Stadium to take on a dangerous Aberdeen side this Sunday. The Hoops are coming into this tie on the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Serie A leaders AC Milan in the Europa League in midweek, in a fixture where Neil Lennon’s formation was ripped to shreds by the Milan attackers. The lack of defensive sturdiness is sure to be a concern going into what could be a historic season for Scottish football as a whole.
The Celts’ most recent league clash also ended in defeat, and that loss would’ve definitely hit the team in a different manner. Losing to AC Milan is probably something that most fans expected, but the defeat against Rangers last weekend would’ve come as a real shock. The Ibrox club completely outplayed Celtic during that tie, as Neil Lennon’s men failed to register even a single shot on target. With some key players now back in action though, things could be quite different this time around.
The Hoops have had a difficult time in terms of injury absences lately, with important names like James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard unavailable for selection. Despite this, the return of Ryan Christie in midfield and Albian Ajeti in attack are sure to come as boosts to Lennon’s setup. Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton are still out of action, and the chances of them making it back in time for this clash are quite bleak too. Apart from this, Mikey Johnston is another name that’s sure to play no part in this fixture.
Here Is The Predicted 3-5-2 Celtic Lineup Vs Aberdeen:
Predicted 3-5-2 Celtic Lineup Vs Aberdeen
Vasilis Barkas couldn’t have done too much about any of the Milan goals in midweek, but he does need to offer a stronger presence against crosses played into the box. Despite these concerns, expect the Greek keeper to continue in between the sticks for the Hoops. In front of him, Neil Lennon is expected to stick to his guns and put out a three-man defence line. Shane Duffy and Stephen Welsh both had nights to forget in midweek, but now that they’re back to league action, the duo are likely to keep their place. Kristoffer Ajer showed real quality in that match, which means that his place in the side isn’t under any scrutiny either.
Diego Laxalt was playing against his parent club when they faced AC Milan, and it’s safe to say that he even took the Celtic faithful by surprise. Not only did he use the wide areas to make headway in the attack, but his defensive contributions were key to limiting Milan to just three goals. Jeremie Frimpong is likely to keep his place over on the other flank. Olivier Ntcham was rather poor against Milan and is expected to drop down to the bench, to be replaced by Ryan Christie. Behind him, expect to see the usual midfield duo of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor.
Despite their apparent struggles in the Europa League, Neil Lennon is unlikely to move into a back four so quickly, which means that two players will be tasked with the main attacking role. With Edouard unlikely to make it back in time for this clash, expect to see Swiss striker Albian Ajeti continuing as the main striker, with Mohamed Elyounoussi alongside him. The Southampton loanee was only a substitute in the midweek game, where he came on and scored the only goal for his side.