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Celtic predicted XI today: Neil Lennon replaces £3.5m man with 23-year-old, teenager to start

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Celtic

Celtic predicted XI today: Neil Lennon replaces £3.5m man with 23-year-old, teenager to start

Celtic are back in Premiership action today, and back at Parkhead, as they look to make it five league wins in a row.

Neil Lennon’s charges were given a tough game at St Mirren in midweek as Lee Erwin gave the hosts a shock third-minute lead, but first-half goals from Shane Duffy and James Forrest managed to turn the game around.

Now, attention turns to Livingston, who are second-from-bottom in the table with four defeats, two draws and just one win.

Livingston v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

(Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images)

While it seems relatively straightforward game on paper, they’ll be “difficult to beat and to be full of energy”, in Lennon’s words.

So, who could make the Hoops’ starting XI in Glasgow this afternoon?

No question about who’ll be in goal – Vasilis Barkas has done well so far and, barring any unexpected late issues, will continue.

 

In front of him, Kristoffer Ajer and Shane Duffy are likely to remain, and while Hatem Abd Elhamed struggled in midweek, he’ll likely be kept in if Christopher Jullien fails a late fitness test.

Now, the flanks, which are a little problematic – Mohamed Elyounoussi is due some game time, and given Greg Taylor was poor on Wednesday, he’d surely be a shoe-in on the left.

Jeremie Frimpong’s energy and creativity was missed, so the 19-year-old is likely to go on the right, but is Lennon willing to drop Forrest, his matchwinner in midweek?

It would be surprising, so we reckon it’ll be Forrest on the left and Frimpong on the right.

In midfield, while Scott Brown has been struggling of late, it’s unlikely to see him and Callum McGregor dethroned from their usual berths.

Next, the Ryan Christie / Olivier Ntcham dilemma – given Celtic have a Thursday night Europa League trip to Riga, Lennon could prioritise Christie there and give Ntcham game time today.

Finally, the attack – Odsonne Edouard and Patryk Klimala didn’t really click in midweek, so 23-year-old newcomer Albian Ajeti is likely to replace the £3.5million January signing.

Celtic predicted starting XI v Livingston: Barkas, Elhamed, Duffy, Ajer, Frimpong, Forrest, Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Edouard, Ajeti

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