Predicted Celtic line-up to face Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership
Celtic will welcome Aberdeen at the Parkhead on Saturday as Neil Lennon aims to stretch his team’s lead at the top of the table to 11 points.
Lennon has a 100 per cent record in his second spell so far, with the Hoops already leading second-place Rangers by eight points. Celtic will head into Saturday’s game off the back of a comfortable Scottish Cup triumph against Hibernian.
Aberdeen, meanwhile, are third in the table and will travel to Celtic with an aim to spring a surprise.
Tom Rogic, Cyrus Christie and Callum McGregor are out injured, while Leigh Griffiths isn’t yet available due to personal reasons.
Filip Benkovic is back in training but he remains touch and go for this weekend’s game.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Neil Lennon
Scott Bain (GK)
Bain is Celtic’s no.1 now and should start on Saturday.
Jeremy Toljan (RB)
Mikael Lustig endured a tough time in the cup game, so chances are high of Toljan getting a recall to the starting XI.
Dedryck Boyata (CB)
Boyata is the arguably the best defender the Hoops currently have in their squad. He is a certain starter against Aberdeen.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
With Benkovic doubtful, Ajer will continue partnering Boyata at the heart of the Celtic defence.
Kieran Tierney (LB)
Tierney is one of the promising full-backs in Europe who continues to excite the fans with every passing game. He should start in his usual left-back role at the weekend.
Scott Brown (CM)
Brown will look to be his usual self against Aberdeen, sit back, screen the defence and dictate the tempo of the game.
Nir Bitton (CM)
Nir Bitton performed admirably well alongside Brown in central midfield. With McGregor injured, the Israeli midfielder should undoubtedly start against the Dons.
James Forrest (RW)
With his pace, power and directness in attack, Forrest will look to cause all kinds of problems for the Aberdeen defenders.
Oliver Burke (CAM)
Burke will add a lot of pace and energy to the Hoops attack. He will look to get on the score sheet on Saturday.
Scott Sinclair (LW)
A tricky customer, Sinclair needs to be at the top of his game if Lennon’s men are to beat Aberdeen at home.
Odsonne Edouard (ST)
Edouard will again be selected to lead Celtic’s attack. The Frenchman needs a goal or two to get back his confidence.
Celtic would bag a massive coup by targeting any of these two defenders – including this talented 21-year-old Frenchman
Celtic FC Opinion: Two defenders the Hoops should target this summer?
Celtic are inching closer towards their eight successive Scottish Premiership title despite Brendan Rodgers leaving the fans stunned by joining Leicester City last month.
Neil Lennon has taken the reins of the club on an interim basis until the end of the campaign. The Hoops are enjoying a ten-point lead at the top of the table and if Lennon successfully manages to guide the club to the inevitable, he could certainly get the permanent keys of the club, once again.
Should Lennon get the job, he must look to build the team for the future and address some key areas of the squad in the summer transfer window. One of the important areas is the defence, which has failed to inspire this season.
Dedryck Boyata, arguably Celtic’s best defender, will certainly leave the club once his contract expires in the summer, while Filip Benkovic will return back to Leicester City at the end of the campaign.
That’ll leave the Hoops with Jozo Simunovic, Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer—none of have been consistent and reliable at the back.
Hence, it’s crucial Celtic makes defensive reinforcements to compete for the title as well as make a mark in the Champions League. That said, here we look at the two central defenders the Glasgow giants should target in the summer.
1. Samir Memisevic (Groningen)
Samir Memisevic is enjoying an excellent season with Groningen, having been a regular fixture at the Dutch club’s backline. He has made 25 appearances in the Eredivisie, scoring three goals.
Strong in the air and powerful in the tackle, the Bosnian is a no-nonsense defender who’ll bring some much-needed feistiness and leadership qualities to the Celtic backline.
Memisevic likes to play it out from the back and is extremely comfortable on the ball, making him a perfect fit for Lennon’s Hoops.
2. Jean-Kevin Duverne (Lens)
Jean-Kevin Duverne earned rave reviews for his performances with Ligue 2 side RC Lens last season. But he ruptured ligament in his left knee in May last year and was out of action for close to nine months.
The Frenchman, 21, made his return on February and has played seven Ligue 2 games thus far. Duverne will take some time before he gets to his best and starts attracting attention from Europe’s elites.
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But before that happens, Celtic should quickly snap him up this summer. He fits the profile at the Parkhead; young, matured and talented with a sky-high potential.
Celtic would go a long way in solving their defensive conundrum by reviving interest in this powerful 22-year-old wall
Celtic Opinion: Hoops should reignite their interest in Scott McKenna
Back in January, a report from Belfast Live claimed that Celtic were set to reignite their interest in Aberdeen centre-back Scott Mckenna. However, a move to Parkhead failed to materialize for him and the youngster continued to impress at his current club.
McKenna has been a regular for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership this season, making 22 appearances and helping his team achieve a wonderful defensive record. Aberdeen has conceded only 34 goals from 30 games, a feat that has only been bettered by four other sides in the division.
A youth product of Aberdeen, McKenna made his senior professional debut for his boyhood club in 2016 and spent time on loan at Ayr United and Alloa Athletic.
He gradually earned a significant role at his present club after his impressive performances on his loan spells and the 22-year-old has gone on to establish himself as a rock at the back for Aberdeen.
The Scottish international has made a total of 68 appearances for Aberdeen across all competitions, scoring on four occasions.
Standing at 6ft. 3 inches with a towering amd well-built frame, Scott Mckenna is a physically dominating centre-half with good aerial ability.
Capable of outmuscling his offensive counterparts with his strength, McKenna is also very quick across the ground which helps him deal with fast and agile attackers as well.
The Scotsman possesses good game-reading ability- often staying on his feet to anticipate the opposition’s moves and cutting out attacks with interceptions, whilst also showing the commitment to throw his body on the line to block goal-bound shots.
Mckenna has also improved his passing significantly and has developed into a ball-playing centre-back, which should interest Celtic all the more.
To put things into perspective, Celtic might do themselves a world of good by reigniting their interest in the towering Aberdeen defensive wall. The fact that he is a home-grown talent should make the move all the more exciting for the Celtic fans.
The Hoops are well on their way to getting their hands on the Scottish Premiership title once again, with Neil Lennon’s side 8 points clear of Rangers at the top.
Former manager Brendan Rodgers signed the likes of
Dedryck Boyata is out of contract while Filip Benkovic is set to return Leicester City in the summer, which would leave a massive void at the heart of Celtic’s defence. Quite clearly, Lennon will need into the transfer window for a new centre-back and McKenna definitely fits the bill.
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The Scotsman is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the country and there is no reason why he cannot develop into a top-class player at Parkhead.
Celtic beating Scottish rivals to sign this 32-year-old powerhouse would be ideal at shoring up the club’s midfield
Celtic FC Opinion: Why the Rams should snap up Craig Bryson from Derby?
According to a report from the Scottish Sun, Derby County midfielder Craig Bryson has emerged as a target for Scottish Premiership side Hearts when his contract expires in the summer.
The 32-year-old, who has admitted there have been no talks with the club to extend his spell at Pride Park, is also a target for his old club Kilmarnock.
Craig Bryson has been one of the most consistent performers for Derby County since joining from Kilmarnock in 2011. With no offer for
That said, Celtic should beat the likes of Hearts and Kilmarnock for Bryson’s signature this summer.
Celtic are inching closer towards their eighth successive Scottish Premiership title despite Brendan Rodgers leaving Parkhead last month for Leicester City.
Neil Lennon has been appointed as an interim manager until the end of the season and if does well in the auditioning period, the job could be his on a permanent basis.
Whatever is the case, with or without Lennon, the Hoops will need reinforcements in the summer, considering that Rangers will spend once again after potentially missing out on the title.
To keep up with the high standards and also to compete in the Champions League, a couple of quality additions would do well for Celtic.
Craig Bryson could be an inspired signing for Celtic. The 32-year-old is a box-to-box midfielder but is known for his ability to score goals from midfield.
An energetic, tenacious and lively customer, he can pick a pass and at the same time keep things simple in midfield as per the game’s requirement. His energy remains unmatched and the Scotsman’s work-rate coupled with his ability to get into goal-scoring positions make him an asset for any team he plays.
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The former Scotland international has been superb for the Rams ever since moving to the Championship club and will be a solid signing for Celtic if they can snap him up in the summer.
A move to Celtic could also tempt Bryson as he’ll be able to play for the best team in Scotland as well as a chance in the Champions League. On a free transfer, the experienced midfielder’s signing is a no-brainer for the Glasgow giants.
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