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Celtic: Kieran Devlin issues semifinal team prediction

Celtic: Kieran Devlin issues semifinal team prediction -Celtic News

Celtic journalist Kieran Devlin thinks Ange Postecoglou will field an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s Scottish League Cup semifinal against St Johnstone. 

The lowdown

Celtic’s last game prior to the international break was their 4-2 victory away to Dundee.

Postecoglou set out his team in a 4-1-4-1 formation that day, with Joe Hart in goal and Anthony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stephen Welsh and Josip Juranovic protecting him.

Nir Bitton slotted into the holding role behind Liel Abada, David Turnbull, Callum McGregor and two-goal Filipe Jota. Kyogo Furuhashi led the line for the Hoops.

Victory over the Saints at Hampden Park could set up a meeting with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers in the semifinal, provided they get the better of Hibernian on Sunday.

The latest

Addressing supporters in The Athletic’s matchday discussion, Devlin wrote: “I’d think maybe the starting XI will be the same as against Dundee?”

Carl Starfelt and Tom Rogic may have been in contention had they recovered, but for the umpteenth time this season ‘an injury has taken much longer to heal than expected’.

Devlin does note that James Forrest, who played the last half an hour at Dundee, has a chance of starting if he’s deemed to be fit enough.

The verdict

One aspect of this team that would please ex-Hoop Frank McAvennie is seeing Furuhashi deployed through the middle.

He feels it would be a ‘mistake’ for Postecoglou to play him out wide as he’s done on four occasions so far this season.

With Giorgos Giakoumakis, who came off the bench against Dundee, out injured, the Australian’s centre-forward decision perhaps becomes that little bit easier, with the limited options up front almost making it a no-brainer to start the club’s top scorer through the centre.

In other news, read about Celtic’s January transfer plan.

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Article title: Celtic: Kieran Devlin issues semifinal team prediction

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