Celtic head into Monday afternoon’s Old Firm clash with Rangers in an excellent vein of form, with Ange Postecoglou’s side currently on a run of 11 straight victories in the Scottish Premiership, having fallen to defeat just once so far this season.
However, while it is true that the Bhoys currently sit nine points ahead of their Glasgow rivals at the top of the table, the Light Blues appear to have turned something of a corner following the appointment of Michael Beale back in December, having won all four fixtures they have played under the management of the former Queens Park Rangers boss.
As such, the Hoops will undoubtedly have to be at their very best if they are to take all three points back to Parkhead from Ibrox this afternoon – a result that, by pointing Celtic 12 points clear, would almost certainly see them retain their Premiership crown.
So, will Postecoglou make any changes to the side that started the 4-0 demolition of Hibernian last time out?
Here’s how we at Football FanCast think the Celtic starting XI could look, as well as the latest team and injury news…
With Postecoglou revealing in his pre-match press conference that Sead Haksabanovic will be unavailable for the trip across Glasgow due to injury, we predict that the Greek-Australian manager will make just two changes to the side that lined up at Easter Road last Wednesday.
The first of these comes in the back five, with the “unbelievable” – in the words of William Gallas – Josip Juranovic returning to right-back after his World Cup campaign with Croatia, while Joe Hart starts between the sticks and Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt and Greg Taylor retain their starting berths from Hibs.
There is a big call made in the middle of the park, with Matt O’Riley – who has been ever-present for Celtic in the league so far this season – dropping out of the XI, with Reo Hatate moving back into his usual spot in midfield after playing at right-back last time out, while Callum McGregor and Aaron Mooy – who was influential against Hibs – also get the nod.
In attack, there is another big decision to make on the right, with Daizen Maeda keeping his place on the left and Kyogo Furuhashi starting through the middle, while Liel Abada – who has failed to score in his last six league fixtures – makes way for the returning Jota.