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Celtic updated predicted XI: One debut, 23-year-old returns, £19k-a-week ace misses out

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic

Celtic updated predicted XI: One debut, 23-year-old returns, £19k-a-week ace misses out

Neil Lennon’s Celtic will hope to leapfrog their Glasgow rivals at the top of the Premiership table today as Rangers come to Parkhead.

The Bhoys are just one point behind their opponents, while also boasting a game in hand.

However, the build-up to the game has been difficult to say the least, with Lennon set to find himself with several players missing.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Ryan Christie have been ruled out of the derby due to self-isolation protocols, while Odsonne Edouard has only just back to Glasgow.

The £19,000-a-week ace is “tired and isolated”, according to Lennon, who also admitted he hadn’t been able to train, so he’s unlikely to start.

 

There is one boost for Celtic, however – Albian Ajeti is fit and available, so he should be back in the XI.

The defensive spine remains unaffected, so a back three of Shane Duffy, Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien is likely to be deployed in front of Vasilis Barkas.

On the flanks, Diego Laxalt is likely to come in for his debut on the left, the 27-year-old Uruguay international nudging Greg Taylor onto the bench, while Jeremie Frimpong should be on the right.

In midfield, Lennon could opt for a trio of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham, with Tom Rogic and David Turnbull as potential reserves.

Up front, Ajeti’s all-but sure to start, but who could pair up with him? We’re going for Mohamed Elyounoussi as a second striker behind the 23-year-old Swiss.

Celtic predicted XI (3-5-2): Barkas; Jullien, Duffy, Ajer; Frimpong, Ntcham, Brown, McGregor, Laxalt; Elyounoussi, Ajeti

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