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Celtic’s predicted XI to face Real Betis in the Europa League

Celtic head into their first match of the European group stages with problems mounting for manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Hoops struggled to come through the Champions League but have secured a pathway into the Europa League where they face some tough opponents.

First up is Real Betis, a side who love to dominate possession and pass you off the park.

The Bhoys travel to Seville in Spain and will have their work cut out with a number of injuries to contend with.

Therefore, what kind of XI can we expect from Postecoglou on Thursday night? Here’s what we’re predicting on Football FanCast

We’re tipping the manager to make as many as five changes to his injury-depleted squad this evening.

Albian Ajeti is set to resume his place as the lead striker with Kyogo Furuhashi out for around a month and Giorgos Giakoumakis lacking fitness.

Next to him in the forward areas are Jota and Adam Montgomery. The self-professed “tricky” teenager is a winger by trade but has been used at full-back throughout his senior career so far.

Should Starfelt play against Betis?

No way!

No way!

Of course!

Of course!

Yet, with Liel Abada due to miss the game for religious reasons and James Forrest out injured, Montgomery is used in attack.

Callum McGregor has picked up a knock so he is replaced in the starting XI by summer signing James McCarthy. Betis are expected to dominate possession so we anticipate Postecoglou to bring Ismaila Soro back into the fray ahead of Tom Rogic to offer more defensive protection.

Greg Taylor is set to undergo shoulder surgery so Josip Juranovic plays at left-back as he did in the Old Firm derby.

That means that Anthony Ralston returns on the right-hand side after missing out against Ross County with his own injury.

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Guess the shirt numbers from Celtic's famous 2002/03 UEFA Cup side. Let's start with Mohammed Sylla...

The final alteration is at centre-back where Carl Starfelt is axed in favour of Stephen Welsh, a player we’ve championed to start this week.

This is a huge uphill task for Celtic given the sheer number of fitness issues in the squad but Postecoglou will still have a number of experienced campaigners in his side.

AND in other news, £55k-p/w gem saw value rise by £25.3m after leaving Celtic, he’s now “one of the best”…

Article title: Celtic’s predicted XI to face Real Betis in the Europa League

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