Celtic, the reigning League Cup champions, are still unbeaten in the domestic competitions. Although they have a sterner test on Sunday afternoon, Ange Postecoglou is desperate to defend the silverware by defeating their fierce rivals Rangers at Hampden Park. The Aussie boss would demand another flawless performance from his men, similar to last weekend’s Aberdeen tie.
Meanwhile, Gers chief Michael Beale has steadied the ship since replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst. They have kept pace with the Hoops post-winter break, including a 2-2 draw at Ibrox in the Old Firm derby. A late goal from Kyogo Furuhashi denied them a victory, but the galvanized Light Blues must go for it again to conquer the Cup glory.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Rangers
Joe Hart might have grabbed the most number of clean sheets in the league, but his errors and lack of composure could prove costly. The Celts ‘number 1’ must step up his game and deliver a resolute performance between the sticks.
The winter recruit Alistair Johnston has settled in well as a right fullback amid the injury absence of Anthony Ralston. The latter was named among the substitutes against the Dons, but the in-form Canadian is likely to get the nod in such an intriguing clash. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt have been immense in the heart of the backline, also the presence of Greg Taylor down the left offers them a balance between defence and attack. Alexandro Bernabei, as well as Yuki Kobayashi and Stephen Welsh, must continue as the understudy to their first-team stars.
Despite the latest injury scare, the gaffer expects to have both Aaron Mooy and David Turnbull available for selection. Mooy should grab a starting role and offer his creative spark as a box-to-box option, and so is Reo Hatate who has been relentless with his work ethic, vision and sharpness in and around the box. Skipper Callum McGregor must drive the show from the base as a deep-lying playmaker.
Kyogo Furuhashi returned to action versus Aberdeen as a second-half substitute. The hitman from Japan is ready to spearhead the attack and frustrate the Gers as he has done time and again in past meetings. Versatile Daizen Maeda must keep his place on the left ahead of James Forrest. Filipe Jota is tipped to operate from the right-hand flank with Liel Abada and Sead Haksabanovic likely to be introduced as ‘super subs’.