Celtic were majestic on the road against Shakhtar Donetsk, but the wastefulness in front of goal saw them settling for a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night. Although it seems quite difficult to make it to the Champions League Round of 16, the champions of Scotland have a five-point cushion at the top of the Premiership standings.
Although the game last weekend versus Livingston was called off due to the Queen’s death, the Hoops will be back in action on Sunday lunchtime against St. Mirren. The Saints have won and lost thrice each so far in the league, but the upcoming contest at St. Mirren Park would be the most strenuous one, given the Celts’ exquisite away form.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face St. Mirren
Joe Hart had some difficult years back in his homeland before joining the Bhoys last summer. He has revived his confidence since moving to Parkhead and should retain his ‘number 1’ status ahead of Benjamin Siegrist and Scott Bain.
While Carl Starfelt is ruled out for a few weeks with an injury problem, summer signing Moritz Jenz has stepped in deep defence alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers. They have been resilient in the heart of the backline, and also the presence of Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor as the fullbacks has helped Ange Postecoglou execute swift attacking transitions and free-flowing football.
The Hoops have ample depth as well as quality in the middle of the park. But the gaffer has a stable ‘midfield three’ comprising of skipper Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley.
McGregor pulls the strings from his ‘number 6’ role, whereas both Hatate and O’Riley have exhibited their expertise with relentless runs, box-to-box movement and the ability to carry the ball forward from the deep to operate in the advanced areas. Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull could be deployed at a later stage to replace the tired legs.
Celtic are well-equipped high up the pitch with Daizen Maeda, Filipe Jota, Liel Abada, Sead Hakšabanović and James Forrest challenging each other for the wide attacking spots. Filipe Jota must keep his place for his swift skills and flair from the flanks and the in-form Abada should be restored in the starting XI after appearing quite late against their Ukrainian opponents. Giorgos Giakoumakis missed a golden opportunity to seal all three points in the closing minutes, but his poaching attribute would add a different dimension to their attack if introduced as a ‘super sub’.