Celtic v RB Leipzig: Team news, KO time and where to watch

Celtic face RB Leipzig this evening as the Champions League returns to Paradise. The Germans beat Ange’s team last Wednesday but the return leg promises to be a cracker, despite the injuries that are mounting for the Scottish Champions. After three games, Celtic are bottom of the group with one point but a win would take Celtic ahead of their visitors and put them in a favourable position to gain qualification for European football beyond Christmas.

This is a game where a draw is pretty much useless for either side. The Bundesliga side got the better of the Hoops last Wednesday night, winning 3-1 at the Red Bull Arena in Eastern Germany but tonight Celtic have the home advantage, and backed by around 59,500 Celtic supporters (RB Leipzig’s travelling support numbers just 500) Ange Postecoglou’s side will NOT be short of vocal backing. Each and every Celtic supporter attending the game tonight has an obligation to make even more noise than we did against Real Madrid on the opening night of our Champions League campaign.

If Celtic can get the three points this evening, and Real Madrid win in Warsaw against Shakhtar Donetsk then we will be in an excellent place going into the next match against the Ukranian Champions at Parkhead later this month. Yesterday Ange Postecoglou said that Celtic really should have won the game in Warsaw which ended in a 1-1 draw and his side will be confident that they can beat Shakhtar on Tuesday 25 October.

These two games are HUGE for Celtic so on both occasions let’s give it all we’ve got folks!

Team News

In goals, Joe Hart will continue. The Englishman made a good save against St Johnstone, even if he made a catastrophic howler for the second goal in Germany last week.

In defence, Carl Starfelt remains injured whilst Moritz Jenz has recovered from illness. Stephen Welsh and Cameron Carter-Vickers started in Perth and you would think that the manager will be weighing up whether to swap Welsh out for Jenz ahead of such a big game. Greg Taylor and Josip Juranovic were rested for the game against St Johnstone with Alexandro Bernabei coming in alongside Tony Ralston. The manager will bring his preferred full-back pairing in against Leipzig, especially given the joy that Juranovic may have down that right side.

Oliver Ablidgaard, Aaron Mooy and James McCarthy could come into the side and offer cover at the base of the midfield. Ablidgaard is the likeliest candidate even if McCarthy helped create Giakoumakis’ winner on Saturday. Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate will likely start ahead of David Turnbull who has recovered from tonsillitis.

However Ange Postecoglou is likely to keep these three more defensively minded midfielders on the bench and play Matt O’Riley on the number 6 role with Reo Hatate and Sead Hakšabanović ahead of the Denmark Under 21 international. Some folk reckoned that Ange was holding on to the lead at Perth by subbing all three, in fact he was thinking about tonight having been satified with what he’d seen road-testing this midfield trio.

In attack, the manager needs to pick between Giorgos Giakoumakis and Kyogo to start the match. However, he will be anxiously awaiting updates regarding Portuguese winger Jota. The player missed training yesterday with the manager brilliantly descibing his problem as “muscle strain, fatique and too good looking” , having left the field on Saturday at half time with an injury. James Forrest, Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda will all be vying for games on the wings should Jota not make it. Yesterday The Celtic Star asked Ange Postecoglou about James Forrest as an option for tonight.

We asked Ange: ‘You talk about the loss of Callum McGregor with his Champions League experience James Forrest has that in abundance too and he looked looked very lively at the weekend so is he in your thoughts for tomorrow?]

“Yes, he is,” Ange confirmed. “That is why James is still part of what we are doing here. It is important that we have players like him. I thought he was really good when he came on at the weekend and he took the game on and was really positive. He is another one who has actually performed at this level. He has made an impact at the Champions League level and international games and it is not just his experience. He is definitely part of the plans.”

Anticipated Celtic team: Hart, Juranovic, Taylor, Carter-Vickers, Jenz, O’Riley, Hatate, Hakšabanović, Abada, Kyogo and Forrest.

Kick Off Time

The game kicks off at 8pm (Celtic Park time).

Where to Watch

The game will be shown on BT Sport 3, with coverage beginning at 7:15pm. Supporters can also listen to the game on BBC Sportsound.

We will bring team news later this afternoon along with updates regarding the fitness of Jota for the game.

Come on Celtic!

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.

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