Saturday, February 4, 2023

Postecoglou To Make A Change? | Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face AZ Alkmaar

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

Celtic are enjoying a winning streak overcoming early jitters and a run of games at Paradise helped them gather some momentum across competitions. However, they have a tricky test ahead on Wednesday night against AZ Alkmaar and the Parkhead crowd must create an ambience in this crucial Europa League playoff fixture.

The Eredivisie side are in a complete catastrophe following an array of high-profile summer exits. The future looks uncertain for skipper Teun Koopmeiners amid interest from Atalanta, whereas the shocking weekend defeat against newly-promoted RKC Waalwijk has exposed their vulnerability ahead of the Glasgow trip.

Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face AZ Alkmaar

Defence

The experience and command of Joe Hart from the last line of defence have restored stability to some extent. He refrained Jablonec from staging a second-half comeback with a couple of stellar saves and his leadership traits between the sticks should help the Bhoys improve the defensive shape.

Ange Postecoglou is yet to rope in a new right fullback and should keep deploying Anthony Ralston who has grabbed the opportunities exquisitely so far this term. Young Stephen Welsh has cemented his place in the heart of the backline and the gaffer should still rely on Carl Starfelt over Nir Bitton despite being erroneous on Sunday afternoon against Hearts. Greg Taylor needs to step up his game down the left in terms of defensive contribution and attacking finesse.

Celtic star Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his goal
Kyogo Furuhashi Celtic celebrates second goal during the UEFA Europa League, 3rd qualifying round, match FK Jablonec vs Celtic Glasgow, on August 8, 2021, in Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic. CTKxPhoto/RadekxPetrasek CTKPhotoP2021080512670 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCZExSVK PER

Midfield

Skipper Callum McGregor has been majestic in the middle of the park. He is not only dominating the midfield game from the deep but also covering a lot of ground, switching on the flanks and trying to make a difference from set-piece situations. Tom Rogic is regaining his lost charm and has shown sheer composure with his dribbles, down the middle runs and menacing through balls. A brace against Jablonec boosted David Turnbull’s confidence after a slow start and the young Scot is expected to operate from the right or as a ‘number 10’ based on the formation.

Attack

Liel Abada has recovered from the knock and is likely to reclaim a starting status down the right. Ryan Christie remains touch and go, but the manager would still have a selection dilemma with Odsonne Edouard back among goals. However, Postecoglou should still prefer Kyogo Furuhashi high up the pitch for his adaptability and amazing scoring streak. James Forrest is tipped to feature from the left if Christie fails to recover in time.

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