Despite a spirited display against Bayer Leverkusen, a late heartbreak on Thursday night knocked Celtic out from the Europa League group stages. It’s a setback for the Bhoys, however, they must regroup themselves this weekend and secure all three points against Aberdeen in a crucial Premiership encounter.
The Dons, meanwhile, suffered successive defeats against Motherwell and Dundee United ahead of travelling to Parkhead. They are struggling lower down the standings but have exhibited their potential by clinching a 2-2 draw at Ibrox versus the reigning champions Rangers. Filipe Jota’s late goal at Pittodrie cemented a victory last month and the visitors, therefore, would seek revenge on Sunday afternoon in this reverse fixture.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Aberdeen
Joe Hart was sensational once again between the sticks even though the Hoops endured a defeat against the Bundesliga hotshots. His inclusion has restored stability in the last line of defence after months of mediocrity from the likes of Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas.
Carl Starfelt is closing in on his return from a hamstring strain. The Swedish centre-half is expected to replace Stephen Welsh if declared fit and partner with Cameron Carter-Vickers in the heart of the backline. Greg Taylor is still recovering from a shoulder injury and the summer signing Josip Juranovic must continue as a makeshift left fullback in the absence of the young Scot. Anthony Ralston has been majestic on the right and should retain his role in the defensive third.
Nir Bitton endured an injury against Bayer Leverkusen and was forced to make way for James McCarthy during the final quarter of the contest. The Israel international is likely to miss the Aberdeen game and the gaffer Ange Postecoglou might restore Callum McGregor in the deep-lying midfield role, given Tom Rogic’s potential injury return. The Aussie playmaker would operate in a box to box role alongside David Turnbull who has been instrumental in attacking transitions.
Giorgos Giakoumakis has missed the last couple of games with a knee problem. While the availability of the Greek striker remains uncertain, Celtic have a formidable frontline who are firing in goals, creating chances and working tirelessly to put ‘Angeball’ into practice. Kyogo Furuhashi has been a revelation since plying his trade at Celtic, whereas the flair and swift footwork of Filipe Jota would cause menace in Aberdeen defence. The experience of James Forrest must be utilized from the right-hand flank as his solitary goal against St Johnstone helped them progress to the Scottish League Cup final.