Predicted Celtic XI to face Rangers in the Scottish Premiership
Celtic secured all three points with a 2-1 victory over St. Mirren on Boxing Day to stay top of the Scottish Premiership standings, thanks to goals from Callum McGregor and James Forrest.
Having played a game more, the Hoops are currently five points clear of Rangers atop the league standings, Neil Lennon’s side head into the Old Firm derby on Sunday high on confidence, knowing that a victory could take them eight points clear of their arch-rivals in the title race.
Rangers beat Kilmarnock 1-0 on Thursday and the Old Firm clash on Sunday comes virtually as a must-win fixture for Steven Gerrard’s side, who have lost their previous two derbies against Celtic earlier this season.
Hatem Abd Elhamed (groin), Mohamed Elyounoussi (foot), Jozo Simunovic (knee) and Jonny Hayes are all ruled out of the Old Firm derby on Sunday, Besides that, Neill Lennon is expected to have all other players available for selection.
Manager: Neil Lennon
1. Fraser Forster (GK)
The Southampton loanee has made a massive positive impact since his return to Parkhead and Celtic will be hoping for another clean-sheet from the big man in the all-important game on Sunday.
2. Jeremie Frimpong (RB)
The youngster seems to be growing in confidence with each passing game and he is expected to retain his place in the team in the absence of Elhamed.
3. Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
The Norwegian starlet has been one of the key cogs for Celtic at the back this term and there is no way he’s going to miss out against Rangers on Sunday.
4. Christopher Jullien (CB)
The Frenchman has proven himself to be a monumental addition to the Celtic squad and the Hoops will need another commanding shift from their star centre-back in the derby game.
5. Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo (LB)
The Belgian has been somewhat error-prone at the back but his ability to contribute to the attack further up the pitch continues to make him an asset to the team.
6. Scott Brown (CDM)
An old war-horse of innumerable Old Firm clashes, the veteran is still going strong at 34 and he’s probably going to be one of the first names on Lennon’s team sheet on Sunday.
7. Callum McGregor (CM)
The Scottish international hasn’t always been at his sparkling best this term but that goal against St. Mirren could do a world of goof to his confidence ahead of the Sunday showdown against Rangers.
8. Ryan Christie (RW)
The influential playmaker has been one of the key driving forces behind Celtic’s success on multiple fronts this season and they will need his creativity to unlock Rangers.
9. James Forrest (LW)
The winger will be high on confidence after netting against St. Mirren and his experience and quality could hold the key to Celtic’s fortunes in the Old Firm clash.
10. Olivier Ntcham (CAM)
The Frenchman has been a regular starter in recent weeks and has certainly done enough to warrant another start against Rangers on Sunday.
11. Odsonne Edouard (ST)
He continues to be the go-to man for Celtic in front of goal and a lot will depend on how he goes about things against the Gers.