Sunday, January 29, 2023

Jota To Start? | Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Kilmarnock

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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.

A late equalizer from Kyogo Furuhashi helped Celtic avoid a defeat in the Old Firm derby and maintain the nine-point cushion at the top of the Premiership standings. They will be back in action on Saturday afternoon, this time at Parkhead against Kilmarnock.

Killie are back in the top tier of Scottish football after winning the Championship last season. They are now fighting for survival under Derek McInnes as the former Aberdeen boss is aiming for stability first before regaining their lost status. But his men have a mountain to climb in the coming days with back-to-back fixtures against the champions of Scotland.

Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Kilmarnock

Defence

Joe Hart must keep his place between the sticks ahead of Scott Bain and Benjamin Siegrist. The veteran Englishman has conceded the least number of goals so far this season and his objective would be to register a clean sheet after a 2-2 draw versus Rangers.

Filipe Jota

Greg Taylor might miss the tie after suffering an injury on Monday afternoon. Winter signing Alistair Johnston is likely to retain his right-back status after making his debut at Ibrox, and the gaffer Ange Postecoglou could rely on Josip Juranovic from the left with Alexandro Bernabei still attuning to new surroundings. Anthony Ralston is still sidelined, but it remains to be seen whether the latest recruit Tomoki Iwata gets involved at some point. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are expected to continue as the first-choice centre-backs ahead of Moritz Jens, Yuki Kobayashi and Stephen Welsh.

Midfield

Celtic have a stable three-man midfield, particularly after skipper Callum McGregor’s return from an injury. He should be pulling the strings from his deep-lying role as the ‘number 6’ spot suits his game the most. Reo Hatate is back in the centre of the pitch following a couple of stellar performances as a makeshift right-back, but the energy he brings as a box-to-box midfielder makes things easy while scripting attacking transitions. The vision of Matt O’Riley is also crucial, but the creative spark of Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull must be utilized to execute free-flowing football.

Attack

Sead Haksabanovic missed the Old Firm clash due to a minor injury, but he might return to action against Kilmarnock if declared fit before the game. However, the wide attacker is unlikely to start with ample options high up the pitch. Filipe Jota must feature from the left, whereas Daizen Maeda should operate down the right allowing Kyogo Furuhashi to spearhead the attack as an outright ‘number 9’.

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