Celtic face Dutch Champions Feyenoord this evening as the UEFA Champions League gets underway. Brendan Rodgers’ side travel to Rotterdam on the back of wins against Rangers and Dundee and will be hoping to bring back a positive result, despite what is sure to be a difficult game.
When predicting the team, there are three big decisions that the manager has to make – who he plays beside Liam Scales at the back, does Reo Hatate come in to start and whether he goes with Yang or Palma out wide on the opposite side from Daizen Maeda.
In goals, Joe Hart will start. The Englishman faced the media yesterday with the manager and said that he believes that the group of players are capable of competing at this level. The 36-year-old will be keen to continue his fine form.
In defence, expect Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor to occupy the full-back berths. The central pairing will likely consist of Lagerbielke and Liam Scales meaning that the back four will be comprised of the same players that started in the win at Ibrox.
In midfield, Callum McGregor will be joined by Matt O’Riley with the third space likely occupied by Reo Hatate. This would mean that David Turnbull drops to the bench. Hatate, 25, showed in his second half cameo what he is all about and the manager will want to rely upon both his defensive attributes as well as his attacking prowess.
In attack, Kyogo will start through the middle. Expect Daizen Maeda to occupy the left and provide his flawless work-rate to provide cover going backwards. On the right, Brendan will have to pick between Luis Palma or Yang. The former showed promise when he came on against Dundee and it would be interesting to see whether he makes his full debut.
Predicted XI: Hart; Taylor, Scales, Lagerbielke, Johnston; O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate; Maeda, Kyogo, Palma.
The manager will likely look to play against Feyenoord in a similar style to that utilised against Rangers and Wolves – use space in behind and hit them with pace. O’Riley will probably look to drop back beside CalMac when out of possession with pressing from Kyogo and Hatate.