Celtic head into what is arguably their most glamourous fixture of the last five years tonight, with Real Madrid visiting Glasgow for the first Champions League fixture at Parkhead since the 2017/18 campaign.
Ange Postecoglou’s side could not head into the match in better form, with the Bhoys having won all seven of their fixtures in all competitions so far this season – scoring 29 goals and conceding just two along the way.
The club’s latest victory was undoubtedly their most impressive yet, with the Hoops blowing away 2021/22 Europa League finalists and Old Firm rivals Rangers in a 4-0 demolition at Parkhead – a result which saw Celtic move five points clear at the top of the Premiership table.
Will Postecoglou make any changes to the starting XI which stunned their fiercest rivals last time out? Here’s how we think the Hoops could line up against Los Blancos tonight, alongside the latest team and injury news…
With Postecoglou revealing in his pre-match press conference that Carl Starfelt will be unavailable for selection due to a knee injury, while also claiming that Kyogo Furuhashi will be fit to feature after recovering from a shoulder injury picked up on Saturday, we predict that the 57-year-old will make two changes from his starting line-up against Rangers.
The first alteration comes in the back five, with summer arrival Moritz Jenz – who has been dubbed “dominant” by Celtic Analysis – coming in for the injured Starfelt at centre-back, while Joe Hart, Greg Taylor, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Josip Juranovic all retain their starting berths from the weekend.
The second change comes in the midfield three, with the “outrageous” (in the words of John McGinn) Reo Hatate making way for David Turnbull, while Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley – who was sensational against Gers – keeping their starting spots.
In the front three, Jota and Liel Abada line up on the left and right flank respectively; while despite being withdrawn after just four minutes in the Old Firm victory on Saturday due to injury, the £52.5k-per-week Kyogo makes an immediate return to the starting XI at centre-forward. That means Giorgos Giakoumakis has to make do with a spot on the bench.