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Celtic’s predicted XI against CFR Cluj

Celtic return to Europa League action tonight and will continue their search for a first group stage win as they host CFR Cluj.

The visitors won the Romanian league last season but failed to qualify for the Champions League, though a victory over Lazio in the first round of fixtures will have been a great confidence boost.

As a result of that win they now sit top of Group E, two points ahead of the Hoops after Neil Lennon’s men drew away with Rennes two weeks ago.

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However, tonight’s clash promises to be a tough task as the only game Celtic have lost from their 18 matches this campaign came at home against Cluj in a Champions League qualifier.

Lennon will hope his side have learnt from their naivety in that match, but will likely trust most of the same players who have otherwise served him so well so far.

Here is how we think Celtic will line-up this evening, with Lennon making two key changes from the weekend.

The Scottish champions will be eager to put Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Hibernian behind them, and therefore Lennon may look to inject a bit of energy into his team with the inclusion of Mohamed Elyounoussi.

It would be a bit of a gamble considering the on-loan Southampton man hasn’t featured too often yet, but he does have two assists from three games and started against Rennes, indicating he may be preferred for European competition by his manager.

Another who could return to the starting line-up is Hatem Abd Elhamed.

So far this season he has been rotated with Moritz Bauer and after his last showing against Cluj he will be eager to impress.

When the sides met before he slotted in as the third centre-back but could do little to stop four goals flying past Scott Bain, and therefore an improved performance will be needed for Celtic to come out with the points.

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Lennon will be confident in his team’s ability going forward. Odsonne Edouard has started the season in fine form with five goals in six league games and this promises to be a good test of his ability, but with the likes of Ryan Christie and James Forrest playing behind him he should have some joy.

Christie, in particular, will be key. He has 11 goals and five assists already this season, and along with Edouard has already found the net against Cluj, so if they can find top form they could earn Celtic the win needed to kick-start their Europa League campaign.

Article title: Celtic’s predicted XI against CFR Cluj

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