Brendan Rodgers will welcome Reo Hatate and Liel Abada back into his Celtic squad for this afternoon’s Cinch Premiership game against Rangers. The duo will bolster the team, who have struggled to create goals at stages this season. The manager will have to mastermind another win over Rangers without Cameron Carter-Vickers, who misses the game with a hamstring injury.
There will likely be just one change from the sides that beat Livingston and Dundee with Stephen Welsh coming into the starting XI at the expense of CCV. Welsh came in and impressed in the win over Feyenoord; albeit he was replaced by Gustaf Lagerbielke, who scored the winner.
In goals, Joe Hart will start. The Englishman kept a clean sheet at Ibrox and hopefully he will show his quality if required.
In defence, Celtic will likely call upon Welsh to replace Carter-Vickers after Rodgers praised the Scotsman in his pre-match media conference. Welsh will likely partner Liam Scales in the heart of the defence with Maik Nawrocki, Nat Phillips and Lagerbielke all seemingly below Welsh in the manager’s pecking order.
In midfield, Paulo Bernardo will likely continue in the third midfield role alongside skipper Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley. Hatate will likely start from the bench and hope that he can influence the game in some fashion if called upon.
In attack, Kyogo will start through the middle with Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma in the wide areas with Abada ready and waiting to make his impact felt from the bench.
Predicted XI: Hart; Johnston, Welsh, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, O’Riley, Bernardo; Maeda, Kyogo, Palma.
Rodgers will be hoping that his team can benefit from the return of Abada and Hatate to the ranks as he looks to put Rangers to the sword under new management.