Scottish Premiership champions Celtic may have already seen their Champions League hopes dashed, but the Old Firm outfit still have plenty to play for tonight as they prepare to take on Shakhtar Donetsk at Parkhead.
Title-winning coach Ange Postecoglou has stated heading into the match that it is simply a “must-win” game for his side, with the Hoops still having an outside chance of securing a place in the Europa League in the New Year.
With four points separating the Glasgow giants and their upcoming opponents, it is now win or bust for the hosts tonight, with anything other than three points seeing them finish bottom of the group.
The omens are arguably against the Bhoys, though, having lost each of their last seven home games in the competition, as they look to avoid becoming the first team in the tournament’s history to lose eight in a row on their own patch.
Ahead of that vital meeting, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that the home side will line up…
Postecoglou has revealed that he will once again be without Carl Starfelt and Jota due to injury, despite the pair edging closer to a return, although midfielder David Turnbull is seemingly back in contention.
With that in mind, we predict that there will be four changes from the side which edged past Hearts at the weekend, with one notable alteration set to see Saturday’s match-winning hero Greg Taylor slot in ahead of Alexandro Bernabei, with the latter having struggled at Tynecastle.
On the other flank, Josip Juranovic will likely reclaim his place ahead of Anthony Ralston, while the continued absence of the aforementioned Starfelt should see Moritz Jenz partner Cameron Carter-Vickers at centre-back, despite the pair having both given away penalties against the Jambos.
The midfield trio will likely stay the same as skipper Callum McGregor remains on the treatment table, while in-form hero James Forrest – who has four goals in his last two league games – should keep his place on the right flank.
Further tactical tweaks could well be made in the forward line. Usual starter Kyogo Furuhashi is set to replace Giorgos Giakoumakis through the middle despite the Greece international having netted four goals in his last three top-flight outings, while summer signing Sead Haksabanovic could also return on the left flank.
The “dangerous” asset, as described by journalist Sean Martin, had impressed with his cameo appearance when the two teams met in Warsaw last month, having looked “very lively” according to journalist Josh Bunting.