Frank McAvennie has claimed that Celtic will axe Ryan Christie for the Old Firm derby on Sunday lunchtime and replace him with James Forrest.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Parkhead striker thinks that the more natural width that Forrest offers will be needed if the Hoops are to end the unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership that Rangers are currently on:
“Forrest has to start and I think he will.
“We have tried Christie out on the right-hand side and it just does not work.
“I think Jonjoe Kenny and Forrest will work well together. Forrest can hit can go past people on the outside but he will pull in if Kenny goes by him. Ryan doesn’t do that because he is not a winger.
“I think it will be very congested in the midfield on Sunday and we need width. They have tried matching them in the middle and it has not worked.
“The only player that will stay wide is Forrest. We need him to stretch them.
“Kennedy has got a big decision to make because you cannot just play the usual suspects. They have not done it. If he wants to be a manager he needs to be strong.
“Why not get an hour off James Forrest and then bring him off? I would definitely start him. There is joy to be had on the right-hand side.”
Celtic should axe Christie and start Forrest
If the Hoops are to get anything out of the game against Steven Gerrard’s men, then they could indeed look to exploit their Glasgow rivals down the wings, and Forrest would do a better job at that than Christie given his added pace and being more comfortable out wide.
Although Christie has brought up relatively decent stats so far in the 2020/21 term, with five goals and 14 assists in total in 38 games over all competitions (Transfermarkt), playing Forrest out wide would allow him to play in his more natural position in centre attacking midfield.
Who should Celtic start?
John Kennedy could well decide to start both players, but if he had to pick one to go out wide, Forrest is likely his best bet.
Nonetheless, it will no doubt be a big decision for the manager as McAvennie points out, which could lead to Christie being dropped to the bench.
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