Celtic

Celtic: Predicted XI for Old Firm clash

Celtic: Predicted XI for Old Firm clash

Celtic face their fiercest rivals later on today with a trip to Ibrox to play Steven Gerrard’s Rangers. Indeed, Celtic, as yet, haven’t beaten Rangers away from home since Gerrard has been at the helm as they suffered two defeats at Ibrox last season.

Not only will a win keep them top of the league but it would strike the first blow in what could be a thrilling title race this season with both teams currently unbeaten.

Lennon’s men have started the domestic season on fire with fifteen goals in their first three Scottish Premiership games.

Although initially struggling as described in fan site 67 Hail Hail, it looks as though Boli Bolingoli has settled into the sizeable gap left by Kieran Tierney’s departure to Arsenal. Fraser Forster has also returned and knows what it takes to succeed at the Parkhead club – expect “The Wall” to be formidable once again.

Celtic have been scoring goals for fun in Scotland but struggled at Ibrox last season. Will Lennon maintain the status quo or will he shake things up to counter Rangers’ strengths?

Craig Gordon was between the sticks for both games against AIK but Forster was brought in against Hearts and you’d expect him to keep his domestic place for the Old Firm clash, despite both men keeping clean sheets.

Lennon has to counter Rangers’ strength through the middle which means he could end up going with his tried and tested three of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham. Brown will be looking for revenge after Scott Arfield and Glen Kamara both made him look decidedly average in the Ibrox encounters last season, with the player embarrassingly rated below 3/10 in both games on the BBC Sport website by fans.

Although Ryan Christie may drop out if there is a formation change, he has been flying so far with eight goals and five assists in all competitions, so it would come as some surprise if Lennon does end up making the brave call to drop him to the bench. James Forrest has continued his fine form with six goals and five assists in all competitions, so starting him in the Old Firm clash really is a no-brainer.

Upfront, Odsonne Edouard has caused Rangers problems before having produced four goals and two assists in four games against the Bluenoses, so he will surely come back into the domestic side after losing his place to 22-year-old Vakoun Issouf Bayo against Hearts last time out in the league.

How would you line up? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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