How Celtic Should Approach The Cup Final Against Hearts - Celtic celebrate
Celtic's players celebrate after scoring during the UEFA Europa League group H football match Sparta Prague v Celtic in Prague, Czech Republic, on November 26, 2020. (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP)

Premiership giants Celtic will be looking to get back to winning ways when they welcome Ross County to Parkhead this Sunday. The Hoops are coming into this tie on the back of a frustrating 4-1 defeat at the hands of Sparta Prague in midweek, where they were completely outclassed by the Czech outfit. Not only did the lose the tie on the evening, but the defeat also meant that they crashed out of this season’s edition of the Europa League.

Celtic’s current league position isn’t the most comfortable one, but the cup competitions are one area where they could look to dominate. This fixture is a part of the second round group of matches of the Scottish Cup, which means that Lennon is likely to treat it with a decent amount of importance. Their form over the last couple of months has been quite poor, to say the least, and any result apart from a win in this tie could trigger yet another massive onslaught from the Celtic faithful.

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The biggest absentee in Neil Lennon’s roster is still James Forrest, as the speedster has been unavailable for selection for quite a while now. The lack of width is this Hoops side is largely down to his absence, with the likes of Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi unable to produce the same quality of wide play. Apart from that, Celtic’s defensive solidity was boosted by the return of Christopher Jullien in the heart of the back-line. Despite his return, they still ended up conceding four goals in the most recent outing.

Here Is The Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup Vs Ross County:

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup Vs Ross County - Elyounoussi celebrates
MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Mohamed Elyounoussi of Celtic celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Celtic at Fir Park on November 08, 2020 in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup Vs Ross County

Defence

Although Vasilis Barkas was brought in to be played as first-choice, the Greek keeper’s start to life as a Celtic player has been far from convincing. This has resulted in Scott Bain taking over from him. Considering Bain’s poor display in midweek, expect Lennon to bring Barkas back in for this clash. In front of him, Shane Duffy could make his return to the eleven, alongside Christopher Jullien. Kristoffer Ajer could be in line for a well-deserved rest. Jeremie Frimpong and Diego Laxalt should operate in the full-back roles.

Midfield

The midfield duo of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor is the only realistic option that Neil Lennon has under his belt. Although David Turnbull was acquired over the course of the summer, the youngster hasn’t shown nearly enough quality to warrant a start in any competition. Brown will be tasked with acting as the anchor, responsible for creating a link between the defence and attack lines. McGregor, on the other hand, will be required to get on the ball to try and create avenues into the attacking players.

Attack

Albian Ajeti’s arrival from West Ham United in the summer was greeted with much fanfare by the Celtic faithful, but his performance levels have dipped drastically of late. However, Lennon could be tempted to give the Swiss international an opportunity this Sunday. Ryan Christie is likely to continue operating on the right flank, especially considering that James Forrest is still unavailable for selection. Mohamed Elyounoussi will still be expected to produce most of the attacking quality, with Tom Rogic being deployed in the number ten slot.

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