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Celtic predicted XI v Milan: Lennon picks 19-year-old and brings back £20k-a-week man, 27-year-old out

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic

Celtic predicted XI v Milan: Lennon picks 19-year-old and brings back £20k-a-week man, 27-year-old out

Celtic are back in Europa League action on Thursday with the potential of another embarrassment on the cards for Neil Lennon and co.

Over the past week, the Hoops lost 4-1 to Sparta Prague once again, eliminating them at the group stage, and also suffered a humbling defeat at home to Ross County to exit the League Cup.

Now, an under-fire Lennon will take his Bhoys to AC Milan, who sit top of the Serie A table and will hope to seal qualification to the Europa League knockout stages on Thursday night.

Celtic v Ferencvaros - UEFA Champions League: Second Qualifying Round

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Stefano Pioli’s men are one point above Sparta in second place but can still secure qualification as early as this week if they beat Celtic and the Czech club lose in Lyon.

So, who could Lennon look to select in his starting XI for the game at the San Siro?

Although Vasilis Barkas was disappointing on his return last week, he could be given another chance to prove he’s worth of being in the XI, particularly as Celtic have just pride to play for.

 

With Mohamed Elyounoussi unavailable and doubts over Mikey Johnston, Shane Duffy and Christopher Jullien, the XI could look fairly similar to the one that lost to Ross County.

Diego Laxalt could once again be deployed as left wing-back, while 19-year-old Jeremie Frimpong could line up on the right.

The back three, meanwhile, would likely consist of Kristoffer Ajer, Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed.

Although Scott Brown and Callum McGregor have flattered to deceive for much of the season, Lennon will likely want both in the middle again.

The £20,000-a-week man sat out the defeat to the Dingwall side but should come back in, with Ryan Christie potentially pushed up into attacking midfield.

Tom Rogic would have to make to do with a spot on the bench, but Lennon could potentially call the 27-year-old up later on in the game if he needs more flair in the final third.

Up front, meanwhile, Albian Ajeti and Odsonne Edouard are likely to start together.

Celtic predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Barkas; Elhamed, Bitton, Ajer; Frimpong, Brown, McGregor, Laxalt; Christie; Ajeti, Edouard

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