Predicted Celtic line-up to face St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership
Celtic travel to McDiarmid Park to face St. Johnstone for the second time in two weeks after last month’s 1-0 Betfred Cup quarter-final victory.
The Hoops are currently fifth in the league table, six points behind leaders Hearts, and manager Brendan Rodgers will expect his boys to bounce back from the disappointing midweek defeat at Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League.
St. Johnstone, meanwhile, haven’t won since September 1 when they beat Hamilton 2-1.
Celtic skipper Scott Brown is out with the hamstring injury that forced him to miss the Europa League game at Salzburg on Thursday. But Tom Rogic is fit after a knock and Filip Benkovic will be evaluated after returning to training, having missed the Austria trip with an Achilles problem.
Meanwhile, Kristoffer Ajer remains out with a hamstring injury alongside long-term absentee Nir Bitton.
Probable Celtic XI
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Craig Gordon (GK)
Gordon is Celtic’s undisputed No.1 and will keep his place in the team against St. Johnstone on Sunday.
Mikael Lustig (RB)
Lustig has been very poor this season, yet he has the manager’s backing and will start at right-back.
Dedryck Boyata (CB)
A towering presence at the back, Boyata adds a lot of physicality and reliability to Celtic’s defence. He is a certain starter for Sunday’s game.
Jack Hendry (CB)
Hendry has been lacking confidence since returning from injury. He needs to regain his mojo as quickly as possible to keep his place in the team.
Kieran Tierney (LB)
An explosive left-back, Tierney is a reliable player and is a treat to watch due to his pace and movement. With Brown ruled out of the game, Tierney could lead Celtic against St. Johnstone.
Youssouf Mulumbu (CM)
Mulumbu will be the player to shield the backline and offer a platform for the creative players to play their game freely.
Olivier Ntcham (CM)
Partnering Mulumbu in the middle of the park could be Ntcham, who will be looking to get back to his best on Sunday. Ntcham has lacked the energy in the last few games and it’s important for him to get it back sooner than later.
Callum McGregor (LW)
McGregor is an important player for Rodgers as he keeps the team ticking with his passing ability, movement and creativity.
Tom Rogic (CAM)
Having recovered from a knock, Rogic could find himself in action at St. Johnstone.
James Forrest (RW)
Offering pace and directness on the right could be Forrest. He can also be a threat on the counter-attack due to his speed.
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Odsonne Edouard (ST)
Edouard could lead Celtic’s attack at McDiarmid Park. He scored in the defeat at Salzburg and will be looking to get on the scoresheet again.