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Johnston To Lead The Line? | Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Motherwell

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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.

An array of fringe Celtic players outshone Real Betis on Thursday night in their final Europa League encounter. Although the Hoops were already demoted to the Conference League, a spirited display against the La Liga side must have boosted Ange Postecoglou with squad options ahead of hosting Motherwell on Sunday afternoon.

The Bhoys grabbed a commanding 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture at Fir Park and should aim for three more points to keep pace with Rangers in the title hunt. However, the injuries to Kyogo Furuhashi and Albian Ajeti soured their midweek triumph and the gaffer, therefore, must find someone to spearhead the attack with Filipe Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis already ruled out with their respective fitness concerns.

Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Motherwell

Defence

Scott Bain was handed a rare start against Betis, but the Scotsman failed to impress between the sticks. Joe Hart has earned the assured ‘number 1’ status at Parkhead and the veteran Englishman would return in goal for the weekend contest.

Celtic youngster Adam Montgomery in action against Real Betis
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 09: Paul Akouokou of Betis is challenged by Adam Montgomery of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Celtic FC and Real Betis at Celtic Park on December 09, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images). The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) and Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Josip Juranovic would continue to feature as a right fullback amid the injury absence of Anthony Ralston. Despite impressing in Europe, Stephen Welsh and Nir Bitton should make way for Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt in the heart of the backline. Celtic’s preferred defensive pair got rested on Thursday night, so was left fullback Greg Taylor who remained an unused substitute in their 3-2 Parkhead triumph. The young Scot is set to replace Liam Scales down the wide.

Midfield

Postecoglou handed rare minutes to Ismaila Soro, James McCarthy, Liam Shaw and Ewan Henderson in the middle of the park. Skipper Callum McGregor and match-winner David Turnbull were introduced as second-half substitutes and the dynamic midfield duo should start against Motherwell alongside Tom Rogic. Versatile McGregor should operate from the base, allowing Rogic and Turnbull to exhibit their dribbling traits, box-to-box movements and creative spark. Turnbull, in particular, would look to make it to the scoresheet once more against his boyhood club.

Attack

Celtic are running out of options high up the pitch following fresh injuries to Kyogo Furuhashi and Albian Ajeti. James Forrest remains uncertain with a tight hamstring, and the manager might have to rely on Mikey Johnston as a makeshift ‘number 9’. Liel Abada should feature from his preferred right-wing role, whereas emerging teenage prodigy Adam Montgomery must grab his opportunity if handed a start on the left-hand flank.

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