Celtic travel to Norway for Wednesday night’s second-leg match with Rosenborg BK, hoping to edge closer to the Champions League group stages.
After Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers watched his side struggle as they drew a blank against the Norwegian team last week at Celtic Park, he needs to find a solution to ensure their Champions League journey doesn’t end in Trondheim.
Here are four tactical changes Rodgers could make to prevent Celtic from having another disappointing result.
Utilise James Forrest as a striker
The last time the two teams faced each other, the absence of a striker hindered Celtic’s cause, with Leigh Griffiths both banned and unfit due to a calf strain and Moussa Dembele lost to a long-term injury. Although Griffiths is set to lead the line tomorrow, if he cannot last a full game, Rodgers should have no reservations in using James Forrest with Scott Sinclair.
Forrest proved in Celtic’s game against Sunderland on Saturday that he is more of a natural in the position than other player. Forrest can turn in tight spaces and finds it easier to spin in behind, having played as a striker as a youngster. If in trouble against Rosenborg, Rodgers can use this to his advantage.
Set-up with a back five
Celtic’s defence must be on top form on Wednesday evening, so another option for Rodgers is to line up with three at the back. Although Jozo Simunovic wasn’t on the pitch much last season, he could be called upon in Norway, to fulfil a role at the heart of the club’s back line. Mikael Lustig also has the ability to play centrally and after Kieran Tierney performed incredibly well in the heart of defence in Saturday’s match, Rogers could consider playing him there again.
Start Eboue Kouassi ahead of Olivier Ntcham
In their previous match against the Norwegians, Celtic struggled in the second half as attack-minded Olivier Ntcham struggled to cope with their quick passing moves. However, Eboue Kouassi showed in Saturday’s game that he flourishes in a role similar to that of Scott Brown, and this could definitely be advantageous to Rodgers in tomorrow’s game.
The 19-year-old can help Brown with his ability to play both offensively and defensively – something Celtic lacked the last time they faced their Norwegian opposition.
Give Callum McGregor the chance to impress
Callum McGregor is another player that proved his worth on Saturday. The 23-year-old bagged his triple after failing to make it off the bench in the first leg with Rosenborg, but Rodgers may consider using him this time around after putting ina top quality shift. He has grown considerably during his time at Celtic.