Despite a dream start in the Premiership, Celtic suffered a shocking 2-0 defeat against St. Mirren prior to the international break. However, they still have a two-point cushion over Rangers at the top of the league standings and the Bhoys must maintain the same on Saturday afternoon when they would lock horns with Motherwell at Parkhead.
The Well are having a mixed run so far this campaign. They grabbed a thrilling win against Aberdeen at Pittodrie but, at the same time, got outplayed by Hearts in the previous gameweek. Celtic have dominated this fixture for years, including an emphatic 6-0 triumph at the backend of the previous term. The visitors, therefore, must script an upset to grab a result against the champions of Scotland.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Motherwell
Joe Hart has revived his game since leaving his homeland and the veteran Englishman should keep his place between the sticks for this weekend encounter.
Cameron Carter-Vickers missed the Saints game before the break and is now a major doubt for the Motherwell contest. Carl Starfelt has not been involved since leaving the pitch prematurely against Rangers and the gaffer might have to rely on Stephen Welsh and Moritz Jenz once again as the central defensive pairing. Right fullback Josip Juranovic remains irreplaceable for his balance and composure between defence and attack, and so is Greg Taylor who should keep his place down the left ahead of Alexandro Bernabei.
The Hoops might be without David Turnbull who was forced to leave the Scotland camp due to an ankle injury. But they still have ample options in the centre of the pitch. Skipper Callum McGregor is likely to pull the strings as a deep-lying playmaker given his vision, leadership attribute and versatility. Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate have been promising in terms of carrying the ball forward and offering creative spark in and around the attacking third. Aaron Mooy could be involved at some stage in the second half, whereas Oliver Abildgaard is waiting for his Celtic debut after joining them on loan from Rubin Kazan.
There are a few casualties high up the pitch with Sead Haksabanovic, Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis might miss the tie with their respective fitness issues. Liel Abada is enjoying a blistering run and the young Israel youngster should feature from the right-hand flank. Filipe Jota must cause menace from the left with his flair and footwork, also the sharpness and poaching trait of Kyogo Furuhashi make him an assured starter as a ‘number 9’.