Although there were some frailties at the back, a lethal attacking third saw Celtic clinch a thrilling 4-3 win against Hearts. Defending the Premiership crown must be the prime focus with a premature exit from the Champions League, but the Hoops should go for it on Tuesday night against Shakhtar Donetsk to keep their Europa League hopes alive.
Having said that, they need a miracle to finish third as a win this midweek won’t be enough. The Ukrainian outfit must be defeated by RB Leipzig in the final group-stage encounter, whereas the Bhoys must grab a result at Santiago Bernabeu to defy the odds and qualify for the second-tier European competition. They dominated the first leg meeting just over a month ago, but the game finished 1-1 due to the Celts’ wastefulness in front of the goal.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Shakhtar Donetsk
Joe Hart conceded thrice on Saturday afternoon, two of which were from the spot. He also made some key saves and the gaffer Ange Postecoglou is expected to rely on him between the sticks as he has done so far both in Europe and the Premiership fixtures.
Anthony Ralston and Alexandro Bernabei played some good games recently. But they were vulnerable defensively whenever the Jamtarts were scripting counter-attacks. Josip Juranovic is likely to be restored as a right fullback, and so is left-back Greg Taylor who scored the winning goal after coming on as a substitute replacing the young Argentine. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Moritz Jenz conceded penalties at Tynecastle, however, they remain the best bet for Celtic in the heart of the backline amid the injury absence of Carl Starfelt.
A knee injury has ruled Callum McGregor out until after the FIFA World Cup and despite having the likes of Oliver Abildgaard and James McCarthy, the Aussie boss has shifted Matt O’Riley centrally as a deep-lying playmaker. Reo Hatate must operate box-to-box with his pace and swift movements and the veteran Aaron Mooy must exhibit his creative spark by switching the play, controlling the pace and playing through balls for the attackers.
Kyogo Furuhashi was not involved against Hearts, and therefore, must be restored high up the pitch to spearhead the attack. James Forrest is in blistering scoring form, but the skills and prowess of Liel Abada need to be utilized from the right-hand flank. Sead Haksabanovic could operate from the left and the likes of Daizen Maeda, Giorgos Giakoumakis, as well as Forrest, might get some minutes at some stage of the contest.