Celtic escaped a setback last weekend against St Johnstone, thanks to a late winner from Giorgos Giakoumakis. They have been vulnerable at the back and gaffer Ange Postecoglou must find a way to revive the form before it gets too late. Their headstrong fight against RB Leipzig went in vain following a howler from Joe Hart and the Hoops, therefore, must aim for a result on Tuesday night in the reverse fixture.
The Aussie chief rested a few of his first-team stars on Saturday afternoon in order to keep them fit and fresh for this high-profile Champions League encounter. They are rock-bottom in their group with just one point from three games, but a win this midweek at Parkhead might keep their European hopes alive.
Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic Lineup To Face RB Leipzig
Hart was at fault when these two sides locked horns in Germany. Another erroneous display would jeopardize his ‘number 1’ status with Benjamin Siegrist and Scott Bain waiting for opportunities.
The return of Cameron Carter-Vickers is a massive boost given their frailty in the defensive third. Carl Starfelt is yet to recover from his fitness woes and the manager should rely on Stephen Welsh alongside Carter-Vickers following a steady performance against St. Johnstone. Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor must be restored to the starting XI after being rested over the weekend. This would be a blow for left fullback Alexandro Bernabei, particularly after a stellar performance versus the Saints. Moritz Jenz was not involved due to illness and remains a doubt for the upcoming contest.
Skipper Callum McGregor is ruled out until after the World Cup after sustaining a knee injury in Germany. This might force Postecoglou to tweak his Celtic set-up and opt for a ‘double pivot’ similar to their recent Premiership encounter. Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate must operate from deep down the midfield to marshal the ‘back four’. Oliver Abildgaard, Aaron Mooy and James McCarthy could be unleashed at a later stage to incorporate tactical alterations.
Sead Hakšabanović has impressed as a ‘number 10’ and the Parkhead boss should rely on him to bridge the gap between midfield and attack. Filipe Jota was taken off at half-time on Saturday afternoon for the big game ahead and the young Portuguese must exhibit his excellence down the left. Liel Abada is likely to get the nod ahead of Daizen Maeda and James Forrest.
Although Giakoumakis scored the decisive injury-time winner at McDiarmid Park, Kyogo Furuhashi remains the preferred ‘number 9’ option for his swift movement and poaching trait while spearheading the attack.