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Celtic: Predicted XI, team & injury news vs Kilmarnock

Celtic head into Saturday evening’s Viaplay Cup semi-final against Kilmarnock in a stunning run of form, with the Hoops having last tasted defeat in a domestic fixture all the way back in September – a run of 15 games without losing.

With Ange Postecoglou having already masterminded a 2-0 victory over today’s opponents as recently as last week, he and his side will undoubtedly be confident of securing another win against Killie at Hampden Park later

Such a result would set up a final showdown against either Aberdeen or Rangers, who contest the second semi-final on Sunday.

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Furthermore, with the Bhoys having welcomed the likes of Sead Haksabanovic, Anthony Ralston, James McCarthy and Stephen Welsh back to first-team training in the week, with the quartet all looking to have shaken off knocks that kept them sidelined for the win over Kilmarnock last Saturday, the 57-year-old has something of a positive selection headache ahead of today’s fixture.

Will Postecoglou make any changes to the side which defeated Killie at Parkhead last time out? Here’s how we at Football FanCast think the Celtic starting XI could look this afternoon.

Predicted Celtic XI: Siegrist; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Bernabei; O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate; Jota, Furuhashi, Abada.

Despite the likes of Haksabanovic, Ralston, McCarthy and Welsh all appearing to be available for selection for today’s semi-final, we predict that Postecoglou will make just three changes to the side which started the win over Derek McInnes’ side last weekend.

The first of these alterations comes between the sticks, with summer signing Ben Siegrist – who has featured in each of Celtic’s last two Viaplay Cup fixtures this season – coming in for first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart.

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The back four remains unchanged, with Alistair Johnston keeping his spot at right-back ahead of Josip Juranovic – who continues to be linked with a move away from Glasgow – Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt once again getting the nod as Postecoglou’s centre-back pairing and Alexandro Bernabei starting at left-back, with Greg Taylor still out injured.

In the middle of the park, despite the “classy” Aaron Mooy – in the words of BBC pundit Danny Murphy –  having impressed for the Hoops in recent weeks, Matt O’Riley – who has been dubbed the “best player in Scotland” by one Celtic source – comes in for the Australia international, while Callum McGregor and Reo Hatate keep their starting berths in the midfield three.

The final change comes in the front three, with Daizen Maeda dropping out of the XI, Jota moving over from the right flank to the left, Liel Abada coming in on the right and Kyogo Furuhashi leading the Celtic line through the middle.