The exquisite winning run of Celtic football club hit a stumbling block last weekend when they settled for a stalemate with Livingston. The Hoops must uplift their game on Thursday night and secure all three points on the road against Ferencváros to keep their European hopes alive. A win would enhance their odds of making it through to the knockouts of the Europa League competition.
The Celts claimed a commanding 2-0 win in the reverse fixture. The Hungarians were outplayed in the second half and failed to script a comeback after conceding around the hour mark. Instead, the lead earned by Kyogo Furuhashi was doubled in the closing minutes following an own goal from Bálint Vécsei.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Ferencváros
Joe Hart avoided a dismissal versus Livi, but his presence between the sticks has restored stability after a dreadful 2020-21 campaign. Neither Vasilis Barkas nor Scott Bain has done enough to cement the ‘number 1’ status and the signing of the veteran Englishman seems to have resolved their goalkeeper conundrum.
Meanwhile, Carl Starfelt’s injury would be a significant blow for Ange Postecoglou. The Swedish centre-half earned a starting role alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers at the heart of the backline and his absence might force the gaffer to bring Stephen Welsh back into the first-team picture. Anthony Ralston has been stupendous with his marauding runs, crosses and scoring traits. The academy graduate is expected to retain his right-back spot, whereas Josip Juranovic should continue as a makeshift left fullback amid the injury absence of Greg Taylor.
Tom Rogic is likely to miss the game as well with a hamstring injury. This would see skipper Callum McGregor operating from a slightly advanced midfield role similar to David Turnbull who has been majestic with his smart link-up play, swift movements and late runs inside the opponents’ box. While the Scottish pair might orchestrate as chief ball carriers, Nir Bitton must occupy the deep-lying slot ahead of James McCarthy and Ismaila Soro. The Israel international should help marshal the ‘back four’ by breaking down Ferencváros’ moves.
Japanese sensation Kyogo Furuhashi has to be the first name in the teamsheet for his liveliness upfront along with the scoring expertise. Liel Abada did not impress enough against Livingston and should make way for Mikey Johnston in the starting lineup. The young Scot is tipped to operate from the left allowing Filipe Jota to feature from the right-hand flank. Giorgos Giakoumakis and Albian Ajeti should wait for opportunities as the understudy to Furuhashi high up the pitch.