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Lennon To Make A Few Changes? | Predicted 4-1-3-2 Celtic Lineup To Face Hamilton Academical

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Pratyay Maitra
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Three successive draws followed by a derby defeat against Rangers have shattered the Hoops’ ‘ten in a row’ dreams amid Rangers’ resurgence under Steven Gerrard. Neil Lennon’s future is on the line as the Parkhead chief, however, Celtic are determined to grab all three points and regain some momentum against Hamilton Academical on Wednesday night.

The champions were victorious at SuperSeal on Boxing day after a frustrating first half, but the Accies, now fighting for survival, would attempt to add more misery to the Bhoys’ dire run at their own backyard. It is still a colossal job for Brian Rice and his men, yet a potential upset can’t be ruled out considering the catastrophe and chaos at Celtic Park of late.

Predicted 4-1-3-2 Celtic Lineup To Face Hamilton Academical

Defence

Young academy prodigy Conor Hazard has stepped in and delivered between the sticks whenever called into action, but the custodian was not in the matchday squad against Livingston last midweek and the gaffer is likely to rely on their high-profile summer signing Vasilis Barkas who has failed to live up to the expectations in the new surroundings.

Jeremie Frimpong, a bright spark with his energy and enthusiasm, should be deployed from the start to utilize the right-hand flank from his defensive role. Nir Bitton has been heavily criticised for his howler against Rangers, but the Israel international has responded well and scored a goal against Livi in their 2-2 draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Kristoffer Ajer must get the nod over Shane Duffy to partner Bitton in the heart of the backline, also the balance and composure of Diego Laxalt’s game offer more stability down the left compared to Greg Taylor.

Celtic star Jeremie Frimpong is in action
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 16: Jeremie Frimpong of Celtic takes a shotunder pressure from Efe Ambrose of Livingston FC during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Livingston at Celtic Park on January 16, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around Scotland remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Midfield

Skipper Scott Brown received marching orders versus Livi soon after coming on as a late substitute replacing Ismaila Soro. Soro, meanwhile, has been a revelation in terms of screening the backline as well as constructing moves from the deep. The presence of Callum McGregor has helped the Ivorian to settle in and the Scotsman, though expected to start from the left, is capable of altering formations with his versatility and work ethics.

David Turnbull has been impressive too after a slow start and the former Motherwell playmaker would be a vital cog in linking up with the centre-forwards. Ryan Christie is struggling from the right midfield slot but might retain his place for the experience he holds until James Forrest is back in action.

Attack 

A knee injury has sidelined Odsonne Edouard in recent weeks, but the manager is hopeful of having him back for the Accies tie. Leigh Griffiths should be dropped to make way for the Frenchman if declared fit, whereas Mohamed Elyounoussi deserves back to back starts, particularly for his goal and the overall impact against David Martindale’s dreamers.

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