Celtic FC vs Dundee Predictions: Celtic FC Line-up
Celtic travel to the Dens Park to face Dundee as Neil Lennon aims to bounce back in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.
The Hoops were held to a 0-0 draw by Aberdeen in what happened to be Lennon’s first game at home on his return to Pride Park. Celtic lead Rangers by eight points and have a glorious chance to extend it to 11 on Sunday.
Dundee, meanwhile, are fighting relegation at the moment and come into this game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Hearts.
Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor are out injured, while Leigh Griffiths remains out with personal reasons.
Filip Benkovic has returned to training but looks unlikely to be included in the travelling squad.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Neil Lennon
Scott Bain (GK)
Bain has done well since replacing Gordon as Celtic’s no.1 earlier this year. He will start on Sunday as well.
Mikael Lustig (RB)
Toljan had an awful game against Aberdeen last week, so Lennon could hand Lustig a start at right-back.
Dedryck Boyata (CB)
Boyata is inarguably Celtic’s best defender and should keep his place in the team.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
Ajer has been excellent in the past couple of games, showing exactly why the Hoops signed him as a teenager from Start a few years back.
Kieran Tierney (LB)
An attacking full-back, Tierney could enjoy the freedom to bomb up and down the left flank and join attacks more often against a struggling Dundee side.
Nir Bitton (CM)
Bitton has done well since returning back to the starting XI at the expense of the injured McGregor. The Israeli should keep his place in midfield.
Scott Brown (CM)
Brown will be expected to put in a skipper’s display as Celtic aim to get back to winning ways at the weekend.
James Forrest (RW)
Forrest has lost a bit of spark in recent weeks but he has done very well throughout the season on the right wing. He is an undoubted starter at Dundee.
Oliver Burke (CAM)
Burke will look to make use of his blistering pace and dribbling skills to hurt the hosts on Sunday. He should start in the no.10 role.
Scott Sinclair (LW)
On the left it’ll be Sinclair, who will look to cause all kinds of problems to the Dundee defenders.
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Odsonne Edouard (ST)
On Sunday, Edouard could be given the responsibility to lead Celtic’s attack at Dens Park.
Reject the £4m – Here is why it is absolutely crucial for Celtic to retain the services of this 24-year-old star
Celtic Opinion: Hoops would commit a massive blunder by selling Jozo Simunovic
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are in danger of losing Croatian centre-back Jozo Simunovic in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that La Liga side Alaves are plotting a £4 million raid for the 24-year-old.
The Scottish Sun understands that Simunovic was also linked with a move to the Serie A with Torino back in 2016, only for the deal to collapse and for the player to stay put at Parkhead.
Simunovic, who joined Celtic from Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb back in 2015, has made a total of 109 appearances for the Hoops in all competitions till date, scoring 4 goals in the process.
The Croatian was down the pecking order under Brendan Rodgers, with the former manager preferring the pairing of Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic at the heart of the defence, but the arrival of Neil Lennon has breathed life back into his career at Parkhead.
The 24-year-old established himself as a regular in the latter stages of the season, as Celtic cruised to their eighth straight domestic title.
The 6ft. 3 inches towering centre-back made a total of 29 appearances for Celtic in all competitions this season and his resurgence can be seen as one of the major positives from Lennon’s second spell at Parkhead as the manager.
The Croatian reminded the fans that his time at Celtic is not over by any means and he still has a lot to offer in relation to the club’s long-term plans.
In all honesty, the quoted £4 million bid from Alaves should come as a big surprise to the fans at Celtic. Simunovic might not have played regularly over the course of his stay at Parkhead but few can deny that he is a quality centre-back and certainly worth 2-3 times more than£4 million.
Given that he enjoyed a lot more first-team action under Lennon and impressed with his upturn of form, the Hoops could commit a massive blunder by letting him depart for a bargain fee.
To put things into perspective, parting ways with Jozo Simunovic could put Celtic in a precarious position defensively heading into the next campaign.
The Hoops are already under pressure to bring in defensive reinforcements and losing the Croatian would only compound their woes, as Lennon looks to bolster his ranks with some fresh additions at centre-back and right-back this summer.
Out-of-contract Belgian international centre-back Dedryck Boyata confirmed his departure from Parkhead after signing a long-term deal with Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin.
Filip Benkovic is also set to return to his parent club Leicester City upon the expiry of his loan spell, meaning that the Hoops would be restricted to Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer as the solitary centre-back option should Simunovic also depart the club.
Simunovic combines the virtues of an old-school centre-back and a modern-day ball-playing defender, and at 24, there is still plenty of time left for him to make significant improvements to his game.
The 24-year-old earned 45 caps for Croatia from U17 to U21 levels, and while he is yet to earn a senior international call-up, the towering centre-back has shown strong signs of excellence at Parkhead and one would expect him to reach his prime years over the next two or three seasons.
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Simunovic is likely to be a first-choice for Celtic next season and offloading him would make little sense given that they are already short of quality cover at the back. That said, they should keep hold of him at all costs.
Celtic should leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of this tough-tackling 19-year-old contract rebel – Here’s why
Celtic Opinion: Hoops should beat off competition for West Brom contract rebel Rekeem Harper
Harper, along with his representatives, made a visit to Parkhead on Sunday to watch the Hoops claim their eighth domestic title with a 2-1 victory over Hearts, the Daily Mail understands.
The same source claims that the Hoops would need to fend off interest from newly-promoted team Norwich City and North London giants Tottenham Hotspur if they are really serious about getting their hands on the highly-rated youngster. (h/t Daily Mail)
A youth product of West Brom, Harper made his senior professional debut for the Baggies in the 2017-18 season of the Premier League. Harper made only one league appearance in the top-flight but he really came of age in the Championship this time around, contributing with a goal and an assist in 17 appearances.
As things stand, the Baggies face the risk of losing one of their brightest academy talents, with the 19-year-old out-of-contract in a month’s time and refusing to put pen to paper due to the club’s failure to make it back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
A regular for England at all youth levels upto U-19, Harper has made a total of 25 appearances for the Baggies in all competitions till date. And it looks as if the youngster is set for a move away from the Hawthorns, with so many top clubs circling around like sharks.
Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Harper has earned plaudits for his calmness and composure in possession, good range of passing and tough-tackling nature. A strong, tenacious, tough-tackling and all-action central midfielder, the 19-year-old has the stamina to cover every blade of grass on the pitch and shoulders both attacking and defensive responsibilities.
Harper not only excels with his ability to win possession back for his team but he also likes to drive forward with pace and has a knack of creating chances with key passes in the final third. He is a good dribbler too and has the flair, acceleration and the trickery to create his own space in the middle of the park.
To put things into perspective, Celtic are not in dire need of bringing in central midfield reinforcements at the moment but signing an immensely-talented youngster like Rekeem Harper for free could pay rich dividends in the long run.
The Hoops once again got the better of arch-rivals Rangers in the title race and are well on course to completing a third successive domestic treble but they should continue to invest in new players to keep moving in the right direction.
Scott Alan is set to join Hibernian on a free transfer this summer, and while that still leaves Celtic with Callum McGregor, Scott Brown and Oliver Ntcham as options in the middle of the park, Harper has the talent and the potential to increase competition for places and add more depth to the squad.
Also, Ntcham has attracted interest from FC Porto (h/t Football Scotland) and the Hoops might find it difficult to hold on to the Frenchman this summer.
Eboue Kouassi, on the other hand, hardly played this season due to an injury and the Ivorian will certainly have a lot to prove to the new manager in the pre-season tours, meaning that Harper should get his fair share of opportunities next season should a move materialize.
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Suffice to say, Celtic would do themselves a world of good by beating off competition for the talented 19-year-old midfield enforcer and signing a player like him on a free transfer would be nothing but an absolute steal.
Forget Edouard- Celtic should not think twice about signing this £10m-rated PL striker and here is why
Celtic Opinion: Lys Mousset could be a massive coup for the Hoops
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic are interested in signing £10 million-rated Bournemouth striker Lys Mousset, who is keen to complete a move away from the south coast in search of more regular minutes.
The Scottish Sun understands that Celtic are reluctant to smash their club-record fee to secure the services of the 23-year-old out-of-favour Bournemouth striker but the Hoops are looking at a player-plus-cash deal to bring the Frenchman to Parkhead.
Born in Montivilliers, France, to a Senegalese father and a French mother, Lys Mousset rose through the youth ranks at Ligue 2 club Le Havre and shot to prominence with 14 goals in 35 appearances for the second-tier outfit.
His prolific form in his homeland earned him a move to the Premier League with Bournemouth, who paid €7.3 million to bring the talented youngster to English football.
Despite all his promise and potential, Mousset has struggled for regular minutes under manager Eddie Howe due to the presence of more established strikers like Callum Wilson and Joshua King. The 23-year-old has made a total of 71 appearances for the Cherries in all competitions till date, scoring on 5 occasions.
That looks like an incredibly poor scoring record for any striker but Mousset is hardly to blame for those numbers. As a matter of fact, only 8 of his 58 appearances in the Premier League have been starts, while others have just been cameos off the bench.
And with the likes of Wilson and King performing at the peak of their powers, it doesn’t look like things are going to get better for Mousset on the south coast.
To put things into perspective, Mousset remains an immensely-talented youngster but his development has stalled at Bournemouth and a move to Celtic would offer him the chance to restart his career. Celtic, on the other hand, should relish getting a promising attacker like Mousset on board in the summer transfer window, although the Hoops might struggle to meet Bournemouth’s valuation.
Celtic went down 2-0 to Rangers in the Old Firm derby last Sunday but the Hoops are well and truly on course to securing their 8th straight domestic title.
They also have a chance of completing a third successive domestic treble if they manage to beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final towards the end of the month. Celtic’s dominance has reigned supreme in Scottish football for almost a decade now, but as well all know, there is no room for complacency in football.
The potential departure of players like Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa should prompt the Hoops to dip into the transfer window for defensive reinforcements.
However, they also have a few bases to cover as far as their options in the attacking third are concerned. Odsonne Edouard has enjoyed another prolific season but they need to bring in replacements for departing loanees Timothy Weah and Oliver Burke.
Leigh Griffiths has been out of the game since late last year, while January recruit Vakoun Issouf Bayo is not really in the frame at the moment.
Someone like Lys Mousset can help reduce the goalscoring burden on Edouard, while also adding depth to the squad and increasing competition for places.
The 23-year-old has good pace and flair on the ball and is more than capable of outsmarting the opposition with his sharpness, trickery and intelligent movement in the final third.
He moves the ball around quickly, creates his own space and occupies the defenders, meaning that he could add a lot of value to Celtic’s attack.
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Mousset, a former youth international for France, has potential and he just needs to play more regularly to take his game to the next level.
The Hoops should take a lesson from how young French strikers like Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard evolved into prolific scorers in the Scottish Premiership and Lys Mousset could be the next in line.
Hence, the Hoops should not hesitate to splash the cash on the talented Bournemouth star and it should be a win-win deal for all parties concerned.
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