Reigning Premiership champions Celtic will be eager to pick up back-to-back league wins for the first time after a long interval when they travel to Eastern Road to take on Hibernian this weekend. The Hoops are coming into this tie on the back of a 4-1 victory against Motherwell a couple of weeks ago, where their star man Mohamed Elyounoussi found the net on three occasions and took home the match-ball. Prior to that clash, the Celts had won just one game in six outings across all competitions, with their last victory before the Motherwell win coming on the 4th of October.
Celtic’s league position isn’t one that will be motivating the fans too much, as they currently sit in second place behind Old Firm rivals Rangers. Not only did they lose to the Ibrox club in the derby earlier in the season, but they also trail Steven Gerrard’s men by a whopping nine points. While the optimists within the fanbase will likely argue that they’re actually only three points behind because of the two games in hand, considering the form they’ve been displaying over recent weeks, there’s absolutely no guarantee that they can pick up maximum points from those fixtures.
Celtic have a number of players in the squad who spent the last two weeks on international duty, which means that until the next round of COVID-19 testing is over, there’s no certainty over who is available for selection. However, one thing that is for certain is that James Forrest is still injured and on the sidelines. Mohamed Elyounoussi and Kristoffer Ajer are likely to be allowed to start this fixture by the SFA as well.
Here Is The Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup Vs Hibernian:
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup Vs Hibernian
Considering all the struggles that Vasilis Barkas has been going through since his move to Glasgow, the Greek keeper is expected to remain on the bench. What this means is that Scott Bain is likely to keep his place as the first-choice keeper for this weekend clash. In front of him, expect Neil Lennon to stick with the same back-four that did the job against Motherwell, with Shane Duffy not likely to be given the nod. Kristoffer Ajer and Nir Bitton could be handed starts instead, with Jeremie Frimpong and Diego Laxalt expected to take up the full-back roles.
Scott Brown’s presence in the core of the team has been questioned by fans over recent weeks, but his display against Hibs last time out was better than a lot he has produced this season. Expect the veteran to retain his place in the core of the side, acting as the main link between defence and attack. The skipper could be partnered up in the middle of the park by Callum McGregor. Despite his inconsistency, Neil Lennon’s lack of realistic options in this position means that he’s expected to start as well.
The absence of James Forrest down the flank has been a real concern for the Hoops’ as the amount of width they’re able to produce in attack has dropped considerably. Ryan Christie is hence likely to operate in his stead, with Tom Rogic taking up the number ten role. Mohamed Elyounoussi has undoubtedly been the Celts’ best player since the start of the season, and he’s the one name in the team who is sure to be a guaranteed starter. Odsonne Edouard, following his good performance with the French U21 team, is also expected to start up front this weekend.