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Celtic: Predicted XI for Motherwell clash

Scottish champions Celtic are back in league action away to Motherwell this evening, with Ange Postecoglou’s side looking to finish strong in what is the penultimate game before the World Cup break.

The Hoops have been almost faultless in the Scottish Premiership so far this term – with 12 wins from 13 games – having opened up a seven-point lead over title rivals Rangers at the summit, following the dramatic 4-2 victory over Dundee United at the weekend.

The Old Firm outfit head into tonight’s clash having already beaten Steven Hammell’s side twice already this term, notably recording a thumping 4-0 victory when the two sides met at Fir Park in the League Cup last month.

While there may well be those among Postecoglou’s ranks who will already have one eye on Qatar, the 57-year-old has admitted he will not allow any potential distractions or international squad announcements to influence his team selection.

With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that the visitors will line up later today…

The Glasgow side are set to be without captain Callum McGregor once again with the Scotland international not set to return until club action resumes at the end of December, while Postecoglou confirmed that James McCarthy has suffered a “significant” hamstring injury that will also rule him out for an extended period.

As such, there could well be just two alterations from the side that triumphed over the Tangerines on Saturday, with the centre-back pairing of Moritz Jenz and Cameron Carter-Vickers set to keep place their place ahead of experienced ‘keeper Joe Hart.

Greg Taylor could well come in for Alexandro Bernabei at left-back following his impressive display off the bench last time out, with Anthony Ralston set to keep his place in the side having been something of an “unsung hero” of late.

In midfield, the regular pairing of Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley could be joined by David Turnbull once again, with the former Well starlet having taken his “big chance” on what was a rare starting berth at the weekend.

As for the forward line, two-goal hero Sead Haksabanovic and Portuguese gem Jota will likely line up on the flanks, with the only further change set to see Kyogo Furuhashi start through the middle, with the “midfielders dream” – as dubbed by John Collins – boasting an impressive record against today’s opponents with four goals in as many meetings.

The Japan international – who was a goalscoring substitute against Liam Fox’s side – could take the place of “main man” Giorgos Giakoumakis, as described by journalist Josh Bunting, despite the £12k-per-week colossus registering an assist last time out.

Article title: Celtic: Predicted XI for Motherwell clash

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