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Preview: Celtic XI vs Hearts – latest team & injury news, predicted XI

With Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side heading into Thursday evening’s Premiership clash in an excellent run of league form, things are very much looking on the up at Parkhead as we enter the hectic Christmas period.

However, with third-placed Hearts up next for the Bhoys, the 56-year-old manager will undoubtedly be aware that his side will have to be at their best if they are secure all three points against Robbie Neilson’s men, a result which would close the gap to the current Premiership leaders to four points.

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So, will Postecoglou make any changes to the team which started the 2-1 win over Aberdeen last time out? Here’s how we think Celtic could line up against Hearts, along with the latest team and injury news…

Celtic-Hearts-Premiership

With Postecoglou recently revealing that both Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic will be available for selection on Thursday evening, we predict that the 56-year-old will make two changes to the team that started at Parkhead last time out.

The back five remains unchanged, with Joe Hart starting between the sticks, while Josip Juranovic, Stephen Welsh, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Anthony Ralston make up the defensive quartet.

In the middle of the park, despite impressing against the Dons, the £14k-per-week James McCarthy – who pundit Eamon Dunphy dubbed a “terrible flop” – makes way for the return of Bitton, while Conor McGregor and David Turnbull retain their starting berths.

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Can you guess which Celtic player scored the most goals during the season in question? Let's start with 2010/11...

The front three also sees one change, with the £5.4m-rated James Forrest being handed only his second Premiership start of the season in place of 20-year-old Liel Abada, with the impressive Jota and Kyogo Furuhashi making up the attacking trio.

In other news: Ange must unleash “influential” £14k-p/w Celtic machine vs Hearts, he’s a game-changer

Article title: Preview: Celtic XI vs Hearts – latest team & injury news, predicted XI

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