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[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Celtic XI to face Rangers – Can the Hoops close the gap at the top?

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Mohamed Elyounoussi of Celtic celebrates with his team mates after scoring his sides second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Celtic at Fir Park on November 08, 2020 in Motherwell, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Predicted Celtic XI to face Rangers in the Scottish Premiership

Up next for Celtic is a trip to Ibrox to face Rangers in the second Old Firm derby of the season on Saturday. Celtic are currently 16 points behind their arch-rivals in the standings and Neil Lennon will head into the showdown fixture knowing that a defeat could have far-reaching ramifications on his managerial future at Parkhead.

Celtic romped home to an emphatic 3-0 win over newly-promoted Dundee United in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday night, thanks to goals from Ismaila Soro, David Turnbull and Odsonne Edouard. 

Celtic were comfortably beaten 2-0 by Rangers back in October and the Hoops will be hoping to reverse their fortunes this time around.

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Celtic are currently sweating over the availability of centre-back Christopher Jullien, who suffered a dreadful collision with the post in the game against Dundee United. James Forrest remains a long-term absentee for the Hoops with an ankle injury.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Olivier Ntcham of Celtic celebrates with teammates Mohamed Elyounoussi and Odsonne Edouard after scoring his sides fourth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Celtic at Fir Park on November 08, 2020, in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Probable Celtic XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Vasilis Barkas (GK)

The Greek international put in a solid shift between the sticks on his return to the starting XI and Lennon should continue to rely on him once again.

Jeremie Frimpong (RB)

The youngster was a constant menace down the right in the win over Dundee United and will be hopeful of continuing his good work against Rangers.

Greg Taylor (LB)

Laxalt didn’t perform up to the mark in the last game, so Lennon might as well reinstate Taylor in the starting XI on Saturday.

Shane Duffy (CB)

The Irishman has lacked consistency but could be set for a return to the starting XI at the weekend if Jullien fails to recover in time. 

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Olivier Ntcham of Celtic celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides fourth goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Motherwell and Celtic at Fir Park on November 08, 2020, in Motherwell, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Kristoffer Ajer (CB)

The Norwegian international has been a regular starter at the back for the Hoops and is expected to have his work cut out against an in-form Gers forward line.

Ismaila Soro (CDM)

The Ivorian starlet has grabbed his opportunities with both hands with a string of top-notch displays and Lennon should hand him a start ahead of Brown once again.

Callum McGregor (CM)

The Scottish international remains a key cog in Celtic’s engine room with his work rate and creativity, and the fans will be hoping for a big performance from him.

Ryan Christie (RW)

The playmaker hasn’t been at his sparkling best in the last few games but could be a difference-maker for the Hoops in the derby.

Celtic won their 9th league title in a row last season (Getty Images)
Celtic won their 9th league title in a row last season (Getty Images)

David Turnbull (CAM)

The youngster has made the No.10 role his own in recent fixtures and will head into Saturday’s showdown fixture high on confidence. 

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Odsonne Edouard (LW)

The Frenchman has shown signs of returning to his best and will be expected to deliver the goods as Celtic bid to close the gap on Rangers.

Leigh Griffiths (ST)

The veteran has hit a purple patch after a long time in the cold and he knows all about scoring goals in Old Firm derbies.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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