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Celtic: Predicted XI for Livingston

League leaders Celtic are back in action at home to Livingston in the Scottish Premiership this evening, with the Old Firm giants hoping to re-establish their nine-point advantage at the summit following Rangers’ triumph on Tuesday evening.

Ange Postecoglou’s men picked up where they had left off prior to the World Cup break after claiming victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Saturday afternoon, with the fit-again Callum McGregor firing in his first league of the season to seal the win late on.

As they prepare to take on David Martindale’s men later today, the Scottish champions will no doubt go into the match full of confidence, having run out 3-0 winners when the two sides met at the Tony Macaroni Arena back in late October.

Ahead of tonight’s meeting at Parkhead, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that the hosts will line up…

Postecoglou has received a welcome boost for that clash with summer signing Sead Haksabanovic believed to be fit to feature once again, although James McCarthy and Stephen Welsh – who has been linked with an exit of late – are still out through injury.

With that in mind, we predict that the title-winning coach will make just two changes from the side that edged past the Dons at the weekend, with the defensive unit likely to remain the same as Croatian star Josip Juranovic has been given time off to recover from his recent international exploits.

There are also unlikely to be any notable changes in midfield with Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate set to partner the aforementioned McGregor in the centre of the park once again, with the only alterations set to lie in the forward ranks.

It would seemingly be no surprise to see Japanese international Daizen Maeda drop to the bench after the 25-year-old was hooked at half-time last time out, with the diminutive speedster set to be replaced teammate Liel Abada on the right flank.

The Israeli international – who has been lauded for his “aggressive” approach by his manager – notably made a real difference after entering the fray against Jim Goodwin’s men, having been “excellent” in the words of John McGinley.

With the ever-lively Jota set to retain his role on the opposite side, the only other tweak could come in the centre-forward berth, with Kyogo Furuhashi potentially set to give way.

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Who is this former Celtic player?

While the 27-year-old is a “midfielder’s dream“, in the words of John Collins, due to his impressive work ethic, the former Vissel Kobe ace appears to lack that cutting edge in attack at times, having missed a guilt-edged chance to take the lead against Aberdeen.

That fact should well see Giorgos Giakoumakis return to the starting lineup, with the Greek international hoping to add to his tally of eight goals so far this term.