Celtic’s Best (4-2-3-1) XI To Face Hamilton: Simunovic To Be Rested, Griffiths Returns

Scottish Premiership

Celtic’s Predicted Line-up to face Hamilton

Celtic’s perfect start to the season continued as the Hoops beat Partick Thistle 1-0 at Parkhead on Tuesday night. The win, Hoops’ 16th in 17 league games, keeps them well on course for another Premiership title triumph. Brendan Rodgers’ men are currently top of the table with a comfortable 14-point lead over rivals Rangers with a further one game in hand.

Leigh Griffiths - Celtic
Leigh Griffiths – Celtic

After two home games in a row, Celtic travel to Hamilton Academical on Christmas eve looking to continue their fine run of form as the Hoops continue to chase a historic unbeaten domestic treble. The Accies, on the other hand, find themselves embroiled in a relegation scrap with just one point separating them and bottom placed Thistle.

 

Team News: Brendan Rodgers has already expressed his concern regarding the artificial turf at Hamilton’s SuperSeal Stadium and is likely to rest his injury-prone centre-back Jozo Simunovic. Tom Rogic is still not fit yet and is confirmed to miss out.  On the positive front,  winger James Forrest has recovered completely from the hamstring injury he picked up against Manchester City and could be available for selection.

 

Formation: 4-2-3-1.

 

Craig Gordon

Celtic’s first-first-choice shot-shot-stopper hasn’t had much to do in recent outings,  but whatever little that has come his way has been dealt well.

Cristian Gamboa

After a rather scratchy start to his career in Scotland, Cristian Gamboa is slowly but surely finding his feet and has impressed for the Hoops in recent outings.

Mikael Lustig

With Brendan Rodgers clearly hinting that he will not risk exposing Jozo Simuovic to the risky turf surface at Hamilton,  Mikael Lustig is likely to feature as a centre-back,  a position that he has been played at before this season.

Erik Sviatchenko

The big Danish defender missed out against Thisle, but will likely return to the starting eleven at Hamilton.  How he copes up in the absence of his successful centre-back partner Simunovic though remains to be seen.

Emilio Izaguirre

Brendan Rodgers sprung a surprise when he included young debutant Calvin Miller at left-back against Thistle and rested the experienced Izaguirre. The Honduran is likely to return fresh from the rest ahead of a busy festive period.

Scott Brown

Skipper Scott Brown’s performance has been instrumental to Celtic’s success so far this season and with his suspension at Dundee well behind him, he should be the first name on the team sheet.

Stuart Armstrong

Stuart Armstrong has impressed massively since his shift to midfield under Brendan Rodgers. His central midfield partnership with skipper Scott Brown helps Celtic control the tempo of the match and pull the strings in the middle of the park.

Gary-Mackay Steven

Even though James Forrest has recovered from the hamstring strain, Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to put him straight into the firing line especially on an artificial surface. Gary-Mackay Steven is expected to continue on the right.

Callum McGregor

Aussie Tom Rogic has still not recovered from his injury paving the way for another start in his preferred No. 10 role for Callum McGregor.

Scott Sinclair

After missing a chunk of games due to injuries, Scott Sinclair returned to action in the past week and immediately started from where he left off, scoring the winner against Thistle.

Leigh Griffiths

Moussa Dembele was preferred up top in mid-week instead of Leigh Griffiths, but the French youngster has failed to find the net in his previous six appearances.  Leigh Griffiths’ experience could tempt Brendan Rodgers into giving him a start.

 

Blast From The Past

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Written by Mrinal Narang

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