Predicted Celtic line-up to face AEK Athens in Champions League qualifier
Scottish champions Celtic host AEK Athens on Wednesday in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie of the Champions League.
Celtic face four rounds of qualifiers to reach the Champions League group stage, and have already beaten Armenians Alashkert and Rosenborg.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have started their title defence in style, beating Livingston 3-1 on Saturday. After a winning start to the 2018/19 league campaign, the Bhoys will be targeting a third successive Champions League group stage campaign under Brendan Rodgers as they look to make their mark in Europe.
Olivier Ntcham is a doubt for the AEK Athens game after limping out of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Livingston with an ankle injury.
Moussa Dembele remains sidelined with a hamstring injury, while Dedryck Boyata has returned to full training after an extended break following the World Cup.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Craig Gordon (GK)
Celtic’s No.1 in goal, Craig Gordon is expected to start against the Greek outfit on Wednesday.
Mikael Lustig (RB)
Back in the squad after an extended break which followed the World Cup, Lustig looked really lively in Saturday’s game against Livingston and should start Wednesday’s game.
Kristoffer Ajer (CB)
Ajer looked composed during the season opener on Saturday and should keep his place when Celtic host AEK Athens on Wednesday night.
Jozo Simunovic (CB)
Jozo Simunovic returns from his two-game suspension and should slot back into the team straight away.
Jonny Hayes (LB)
Back to full fitness after breaking his leg last December, Hayes provided the cross from which Rogic netted the opener against Livingston. After a decent game on Saturday, he should start here.
Scott Brown (CM)
Brown should be deployed in his usual role at the heart of midfield. He will sit in front of the defence and do the dirty work.
Eboue Kouassi (CM)
With Ntcham a doubt for the game, Eboue Kouassi could get a chance to start alongside Brown in the middle of the park. If he gets the chance, the young Ivorian must grab it with both the hands.
Callum McGregor (LW)
Confident and hard-working, McGregor was a top contributor last term. He has started the new campaign well and if continues it, McGregor would be difficult to stop.
Tom Rogic (CAM)
Rogic was excellent against Livingston, opening the scoring and running the show on Saturday. A sure starter on Wednesday.
Scott Sinclair (RW)
Sinclair netted 18 goals in all competitions last season and will be hungry to build on it. With his blistering pace and trickery, the 29-year-old could be a real handful for the AEK Athens defenders.
Odsonne Edouard (ST)
Edouard found himself on the scoresheet against a Livingston side that was tormented by Rodgers’ men for most of the day. The young striker is expected to lead Celtic’s attack against the Greek opponents.