Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side head into Thursday evening’s fixture against Real Betis knowing that they can finish no higher or lower than their current third-place standing in Group G – something which will ultimately see the Bhoys drop into the UEFA Europa Conference League when European football starts up again in 2022.
As such, the 56-year-old manager knows that, with a number of extremely important fixtures ahead of the Hoops in the coming weeks, he can field a rotated side against the Spanish club, affording a number of his lesser-seen squad members some valuable first-team minutes against very decent opposition.
So, how many changes will the Greek-Australian boss make to the side which started the 3-0 win over Dundee United last weekend? Here’s how we think Celtic could line up against Real Betis, along with the latest team and injury news…
With Ange Postecoglou recently confirming that all four of Jota, Anthony Ralston, Giorgos Giakoumakis and James Forrest will miss the Real Betis fixture due to injury, we predict that the 56-year-old will make six changes to the team that started the game at Tannadice on Sunday.
The first of these changes comes between the Celtic sticks, with Joe Hart making way for 18-year-old Tobi Oluwayemi, who Celtic B coach Darren O’Dea dubbed a “really good” talent, as the youngster has highly impressed for the reserve side so far this season.
In the back four, 19-year-old left-back Adam Montgomery makes a return to the starting XI side after being left out of the club’s last two Europa League fixtures, while the “immense” Osaze Urhoghide is handed his Celtic debut alongside Carl Stafelt at centre-back.
In the middle of the park, James McCarthy replaces Tom Rogic in the central midfield three, while, in attack, Albian Ajeti is handed just his sixth start of the season up top, and Liel Abada returns on the right-wing in place of the injured James Forrest.