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Celtic: Predicted XI for Leipzig showdown at Parkhead

Celtic are currently preparing for what could be a potentially pivotal encounter with regards to their hopes of Champions League progression, having left themselves with plenty of work to do after picking up just one point from their opening three games.

The Old Firm outfit face an RB Leipzig side who had run out 3-1 winners when the two sides last met in Saxony a week ago, with the Scottish champions seeking a first home triumph in the competition at the group stage since beating Ajax back in 2013.

Despite that miserable run, the Parkhead giants did claim victory over their German opponents when the two clubs met in Glasgow in the Europa League back in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Bundesliga side have seemingly struggled on the road on the whole having lost six of their last eight away games in Europe’s premier competition.

Ahead of that crunch clash, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that Ange Postecoglou’s side will line up…

The Hoops are facing a potential nightmare scenario heading into tonight’s match amid concerns over the fitness of talisman, Jota, with it seemingly in the balance as to whether the Portuguese starlet will feature against Marco Rose’s men. The Scottish Premiership side already have a handful of injury concerns to contend with in the form of Carl Starfelt and skipper Callum McGregor, although both Moritz Jenz and David Turnbull are set to return from illness.

With that in mind, we predict that Postecoglou will make five changes from the side that beat St Johnstone in dramatic fashion in midweek, with veteran ‘keeper Joe Hart keeping his place despite his “embarrassing” display in Leipzig last week, as described by pundit Frank McAvennie.

Ahead of him, the first-choice full-back pairing of Josip Juranovic and Greg Taylor should well return, while Stephen Welsh should seemingly keep his place alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers, having impressed a week ago.

The absence of McGregor could well see a repeat of the midfield trio that lined up in Perth, with summer signing Sead Haksabanovic – who also caught the eye at the weekend – set to remain alongside Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate.

As for the forward line, the expectation would be that Kyogo Furuhashi will lead the attack despite Giorgos Giakoumakis’ weekend heroics, with the “wonderful” 21-year-old Liel Abada – as dubbed by McAvennie –  axed in favour of Daizen Maeda having made just 27 touches in his 68-minute outing against Callum Davidson’s men.

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The concern surrounding the aforementioned Jota could see long-serving ace James Forrest make a rare start on the flanks, with the “underrated” speedster – as described by Stefan Bienkowski – having made a “real difference” off the bench at the weekend, according to his manager.

Article title: Celtic: Predicted XI for Leipzig showdown at Parkhead

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