Team’s Up – 5 changes as the Bhoys pay one last farewell to Artur Boruc

Celtic take to the Stadion Wojska Polskiego in Warsaw on Wednesday afternoon in what is likely to be Hoops’ fans final farewell to shotstopper hero Artur Boruc – affectionately dubbed as the ‘Holy Goalie’ – as they take on Legia in Poland’s capital.

Following a measly 2-2 draw with Blackburn Rovers on Saturday in the first pre-season game at Paradise, Ange Postecoglou’s men will be aiming to go one better in Eastern Europe before they head back to Glasgow to face Norwich on Saturday. And the affable Aussie has made just 5 changes to his side in what is likely to be a hugely competitive fixture following previous incidents between the two sides…

Joe Hart starts in net for the second time in four days as Postecoglou makes it clear who he trusts between the sticks. Scott Bain has not done enough for a regular starting spot ever since his arrival in 2018 by making just 42 league appearances at Paradise, and despite the astute signing of Dundee United’s Benjamin Siegrist over the summer, it appears the Englishman continues to rule the roost over the current goalkeeping contingency.

19th December 2021; Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland; Scottish League Cup final, Hibernian versus Celtic: Joe Hart of Celtic waves to his family in the crowd after they win the cup

In defence, Postecoglou has opted for a duo of Anthony Ralston and Alexandro Bernabei in the wide berths. Replacing Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor, Ralston represents a trusted option following somewhat of a ‘breakout’ spell last year, whilst Bernabei makes his first start for the Bhoys in Green since a £4million move from Lanus in June.

They are partnered in the middle by Cameron Carter-Vickers and Stephen Welshwho were the centre-back partnership for the draw against the former English Premier League champions at the weekend. With Carl Starfelt still out and Christopher Jullien continuing to miss out, this could be a permanent fixture going into the new season.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – DECEMBER 19: Callum McGregor of Celtic celebrates after victory in the Premier Sports Cup Final between Celtic and Hibernian at Hampden Park on December 19, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images) (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In midfield, captain Callum McGregor once again lines up alongside Matthew O’Riley in the middle of the park, whilst Reo Hatate replaces David Turnbull as the a more combative option in the engine room. The winter signing has been a revelation since his move to Paradise just six months ago, and his energetic approach will likely allow O’Riley more freedom to operate in the centre of the park.

And there are two changes in Celtic’s front line as they look to deliver a heavy hand to the side who finished in a lowly 10th place last season. James Forrest and Daizen Maeda line up alongside each other as Postecoglou opts for a pacey, hard-working front line to break down Dariusz Mioduski’s men, alongside Liel Abada who keeps his spot in an inverted front three.

Hopefully Celtic don’t upset Boruc too much on his big day, yet there may be some pleasant surprise in the Bhoys’ heroes eyes should the Hoops take a win back to Paradise with them…

Come on Celtic!

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