Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side face a break from their Premiership campaign on Sunday afternoon, with Raith Rovers visiting Parkhead in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
With the clash against a side who currently sit fourth in the Championship unlikely to cause the Premiership leaders too many issues, it could provide the Bhoys boss with the perfect opportunity to rest a number of his first-team regulars, along with handing valuable game-time to a number of the fringe players within the Hoops squad.
How many changes will the 56-year-old make to the side which started the 3-2 win over the Aberdeen last time out? Here’s how we think Celtic could line up against Rovers, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Postecoglou recently revealing that Josip Juranovic will miss today’s fixture due to illness and also confirming that Yosuke Ideguchi will be available for selection after recovering from an ankle injury, we predict that the 56-year-old will make 10 changes to the side which started the midweek win at Pittodrie.
Of the back five, only Anthony Ralston keeps his place in the initial line-up, with Scott Bain taking Joe Hart’s spot between the sticks, while Liam Scales, Christopher Jullien and Stephen Welsh replace Greg Taylor, Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers respectively.
In the middle of the park, club captain Callum McGregor – who has been playing with two broken bones in his face in recent weeks – drops out of the side for a well-earned rest, as do Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley. The aforementioned Ideguchi comes in alongside Tom Rogic, while the £14k-per-week Nir Bitton – who was once dubbed a “walking joke” by Bhoys Analytics – takes McGregor’s place in the more defensive role of the Bhoys’ three-man midfield.
In the Celtic attack, Jota and Liel Abada make way for Mikey Johnston and James Forrest respectively, while Daizen Maeda joins his Japanese team-mate Hatate on the bench, with Giorgos Giakoumakis making a return to the XI after missing out on a start against the Dons last time out.