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Celtic: Predicted XI vs Hibernian

Scottish champions Celtic continue their hectic festive schedule away to Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership this evening, with the Parkhead giants heading into the match having won their previous 11 league games.

That rampant run of form has seen the Hoops open up a nine-point lead on their Old Firm foes Rangers, with Ange Postecoglou’s side likely hoping to maintain that advantage ahead of the meeting with their Glasgow rivals on Monday.

The league leaders head into tonight’s clash having hit the Easter Road outfit for six when the two sides met earlier this season, with Lee Johnson’s men currently enduring a miserable run of form having lost seven of their last nine top-flight games this term.

Ahead of this crunch meeting in Edinburgh, here’s how we at Football FanCast predict that the Bhoys will line up…

A major headache for Postecoglou remains at full-back with the club still sweating on the fitness of Anthony Ralston, while Josip Juranovic remains unlikely to be involved following his return from World Cup duty. The only other injury concerns, however, are that of peripheral figures Stephen Welsh and James McCarthy.

As such, we predict that there will be just one change from the side that ran out 4-1 winners over St Johnstone last time out, with Reo Hatate set to keep his place at right-back following his two-goal “masterclass” on Christmas Eve, as per journalist John McGinley.

The rest of the backline should also remain the same, while in midfield it appears likely that Postecoglou will keep faith with Aaron Mooy alongside Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor, with the Australian international having shone against the Saints.

That ensures that the only alteration should lie in the forward line, with Daizen Maeda – who has been described as a “livewire” by pundit Rio Ferdinand – set to give way after failing to score or assist in his last three league games.

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That shake-up could well see Sead Haksabanovic return to the starting lineup for the first time since scoring in the win over Ross County last month, while Kyogo Furuhashi should retain his place through the middle following his recent brace.

Completing that attacking trio will likely be James Forrest once again, with the “underrated” asset – as lauded by Stefan Bienkowski – having bagged a hat trick against today’s opponents back in October.