Celtic are on the verge of reclaiming the Scottish crown ahead of hosting Rangers on Sunday lunchtime. A win in the Old Firm derby should secure the silverware but a defeat at Parkhead might jeopardize the situation, particularly after April’s Scottish Cup semifinal setback.
Rangers, on the other hand, must be worn out after a hectic Thursday night outing against RB Leipzig in the first leg of the prestigious Europa League semifinal. Moreover, they have an array of key personnel unavailable through injuries and suspension. There is little hope left for a successful title defence and the Hoops, therefore, are outright favourites to claim all three points in their backyard.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Rangers
Celtic have found stability between the sticks following Joe Hart’s summer arrival from Tottenham Hotspur. The veteran English custodian has cemented the ‘number 1’ status ahead of Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas.
Josip Juranovic remains a major doubt after picking up an injury against the Light Blues in the Cup semifinal. Right fullback Anthony Ralston should retain his place in the Croatian’s absence, whereas both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt must maintain their supremacy in the heart of the backline. Greg Taylor has been impressive down the left and is expected to balance his game between attack and defence.
Ange Postecoglou is blessed to have a plethora of midfield options in his ranks. Although skipper Callum McGregor is ever-present as the ‘number six’, the manager must rotate the other two given their depth as well as quality in the middle of the park. Reo Hatate has featured extensively since winter, and his understanding with Tom Rogic should earn the pair the starting status ahead of Matt O’Riley, Nir Bitton, James McCarthy, Yosuke Ideguchi and David Turnbull. The likes of O’Riley, Bitton and Turnbull might get involved at some stage in the second half.
Kyogo Furuhashi was back in the starting XI against Ross County after a couple of cameos. He only took 12 minutes to find the net and the depleted Gers’ defence must find a way to contain the Japanese ace. Daizen Maeda, the fellow compatriot, should operate from the left with his immense work rate and tireless runs; also, the presence of Filipe Jota on the right-hand flank might make a difference in this weekend encounter. Giorgos Giakoumakis, Liel Abada and James Forrest are capable of adding more firepower as ‘super subs’.