The exquisite run continues for Celtic as they humbled Hibernian on the road and climbed up to the second spot in the Premiership standings. They are only two points behind bitter-rivals Rangers and a win against Livingston on Saturday afternoon would see them securing the leading status for the time being.
Livi stunned the Hoops at Almondvale in the reverse fixture. They scripted a surprise 1-0 victory at their own backyard, however, the in-form Celts are outright favourites to secure all three points at Celtic Park. Having said that, the visitors would be upbeat after settling for a draw with Dundee United despite being a man down on Wednesday night but, at the same time, might suffer in the absence of David Martindale from the dugout who also received a marching order for alleged offensive language towards the officials.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Livingston
Joe Hart failed to grab a fourth successive cleansheet, but a few crucial saves against Hibs depicted his excellence between the sticks. He would retain his place ahead of Scott Bain, Vasilis Barkas and Conor Hazard.
Anthony Ralston continues to impress with his marauding runs and attacking threats from the right-hand flank. The fullback would keep his place, so are Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt who have been headstrong and resilient of late. Ange Postecoglou stuck with the duo in spite of early shambles, and the current run of form suggests how accurate he has been while choosing his first-team central defensive pairing. Greg Taylor continues to be sidelined with a shoulder injury and the summer signing Josip Juranovic is expected to continue as a makeshift left-back over Liam Scales, Adam Montgomery and Boli Bolingoli
Celtic received a significant blow when majestic Tom Rogic was forced to leave the pitch with a hamstring strain late in the first half. The gaffer brought in Nir Bitton to replace the Aussie playmaker and the Israel international is likely to get the nod once again to orchestrate the show from the base of their midfield set-up. Bitton’s presence in the deep should see skipper Callum McGregor operating more as a ‘number 8’, whereas David Turnbull must keep hold of his starting status having registered a couple of assists at Easter Road.
Fit-again Mikey Johnston grabbed a start this midweek following an impressive cameo last weekend against St. Johnstone. The Scotsman should feature from the left allowing Filipe Jota to occupy the right-wing role. Kyogo Furuhashi is irreplaceable at this moment due to his sheer brilliance as a ‘number 9’. Not only the Japanese ace is scoring goals but also working tirelessly to instigate attacking moves from the deep. Giorgos Giakoumakis, Liel Abada and Albian Ajeti must wait for their opportunities as the understudy to the preferred frontline.