Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Bernabei To Start? | Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face St. Johnstone

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Pratyay Maitra
A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

It has been two nervy wins for league leaders Celtic since the game resumed in Scotland last week. They still hold a 9-point cushion at the top of the Premiership standings but, at the same time, must uplift their performance to avoid an upset this weekend against St. Johnstone.

Although the Saints have climbed up to fifth in the league table, Celtic remain favourites to clinch a commanding win at Parkhead on Saturday lunchtime. The reverse tie at McDiarmid Park produced late drama when Giorgos Giakoumakis restored a lead in the closing moments of the match and it is to be seen now how Callum Davidson prepares his men for a fierce fight. Ali Crawford’s quick-fire brace helped them script a comeback against ten-man Ross County on 17th December. However, the upcoming tie will be a different ball game altogether.

Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face St. Johnstone

Defence

Veteran Joe Hart has been the Hoops’ ‘number 1’ since his arrival last summer. He is set to retain his place between the sticks ahead of Benjamin Siegrist and Scott Bain.

Greg Taylor

Josip Juranovic is yet to return following a stupendous World Cup run with Croatia, whereas Anthony Ralston sustained an injury on Wednesday night against Livingston. Winter signing Alistair Johnston is only eligible to feature from January onwards and Greg Taylor, therefore, is expected to switch to the right-hand side of Celtic’s four-man backline. This role reversal would make way for left fullback Alexandro Bernabei who is still attuning to the demands of Scottish football. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt must occupy the central defensive spots as the first-choice centre-backs before Moritz Jenz and Stephen Welsh.

Midfield

Skipper Callum McGregor is irreplaceable deep down the midfield as he pulls the strings and orchestrates the show from his ‘number 6’ role. Reo Hatate has not been consistent of late and gaffer Ange Postecoglou should give a nod to David Turnbull with ample options in the middle of the park. Matt O’Riley must hold his position given his influence in attacking transitions as a box-to-box midfielder. Aaron Mooy could be brought into action in the closing minutes of the match.

Attack

The Aussie boss might rotate his wide forwards and deploy Sead Haksabanovic and Daizen Maeda in the starting XI. Filipe Jota, Liel Abada and James Forrest might get introduced as second-half substitutes, also the sharpness of Kyogo Furuhashi should see him spearheading the attack ahead of Giorgos Giakoumakis.

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