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Celtic’s predicted XI to face Bayer Leverkusen

Ange Postecoglou is fighting a seismic battle at Celtic right now with the Hoops enduring their worst start to a campaign for over two decades.

It has been a slog for the Australian who’s had to revamp the playing squad but is now suffering from a number of injuries.

A Europa League tie with Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday will serve as a nice distraction from their league struggles but a heavy defeat could damage morale and confidence even more.

Celtic were at their best from an offensive point of view against Real Betis, going 2-0 up before the Spaniard’s fought back and won 4-3 last time out in Europe.

That match should provide them with plenty of food for thought, particularly if they want to take the game to Leverkusen on Thursday evening.

In order to do that, how could Celtic line-up? Here’s the XI we’re predicting from Postecoglou…

We are tipping the boss to make three changes from the side that drew with Dundee United last Sunday.

Josip Juranovic picked up an injury problem in that clash and although the diagnosis isn’t as bad as first feared he misses out tonight.

Who should replace McGregor tonight?

McCarthy

McCarthy

Soro

Soro

Therefore, the first change is at left-back where teenager Adam Montgomery is preferred over Boli Bolingoli. We’ve championed the idea of the youngster earning more minutes so he should start again here, as he did vs Betis.

There is another alteration in the middle of the defence where Carl Starfelt is given the night off with Stephen Welsh coming into the starting XI.

Starfelt has had a troubled start to his Celtic career, being mercilessly hounded by fans and pundits for his performances. Consequently, we reckon Postecoglou should take him out of the firing line in a high pressured game.

The final change is in midfield. It’s expected that Callum McGregor will miss out again so it’s James McCarthy and Ismaila Soro who start at the base.

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Soro hasn’t started a game since the clash with Betis but with Tom Rogic underperforming, he is axed.

Their £11k-per-week Ivorian hasn’t had the best of campaigns either but it would be preferable if Celtic operated with two more defensive-minded midfielders tonight.

Kyogo Furuhashi remains injured so Albian Ajeti continues up front.

AND in other news, Possession lost 21x: Celtic must ruthlessly axe “majestic” £16k-p/w gem tomorrow…

Article title: Celtic’s predicted XI to face Bayer Leverkusen

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