Griffiths out, Dembele to start – Strongest 3-4-3 Celtic XI to face FK Suduva in the Europa League playoffs

Predicted Celtic line-up to face FK Suduva in the Europa League play-offs

Celtic travel to Lithuania to face FK Suduva as they look to book their place in the Europa League group stage after being knocked out of the Champions League playoffs.

The Hoops previously played Suduva in a UEFA Cup tie in 2002, which ended in a 10-1 aggregate win.

Suduva, the Lithuanian champions, defeated Spartaks Jurmala 1-0 on aggregate to set up the do-or-die clash with Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic.

Rodgers’ side could still be reeling after being dumped from the Champions League by AEK Athens but after a win over Partick Thistle in the Scottish League Cup, the Hoops will be confident of getting a positive result in the first-leg against FK Suduva.

Team News

Rodgers said Dedryck Boyata could “absolutely” be back in his team to face FK Suduva after the Belgian defender missed the game against Partick Thistle.

Striker Odsonne Edouard failed to recover from a knock to face Partick Thistle, and is set to miss this Europa League qualifier too. Tierney too missed the game with a minor calf strain but could be back in the squad for Thursday’s game.

Marvin Compper and Lewis Morgan continue to recover from injury, while new loan signing Daniel Arzani could be included in the squad.

Probable Celtic XI

Formation: 3-4-3

Manager: Brendan Rodgers

Craig Gordon (GK)

Gordon will come into the starting XI after dropping down to the bench in the League Cup clash against Partick Thistle.

Cristian Gamboa (RWB)

Gamboa was excellent in the last game and is a sure starter against FK Suduva.

Jack Hendry (RCB)

Hendry was not at his sublime best in the last game and could redeem himself against FK Suduva.

Jozo Simunovic (CB)

Simunovic’s Celtic career has been marred with catastrophic mistakes but needs to put up a commanding display in the Europa League play-off.

Kristoffer Ajer (LCB)

Ajer is arguably the most composed centre-back Rodgers has in his squad, as the 20-year-old can defend as well as bring the ball out from the back.

Emilio Izaguirre (LWB)

A popular figure amongst the Celtic supporters, Izaguirre returned to the club this summer and put in a fantastic performance in the League Cup win over Partick Thistle. He must start in the Europa League play-off.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown (CM)

The skipper of the team, Brown should try controlling the tempo of the game from the first blow of the whistle.

Olivier Ntcham (CM)

Ntcham has arguably been Celtic’s best player in the opening weeks of the new campaign. The France U-21 international is a physically robust midfielder, who is a fine passer of the ball with an eye for goal.

Scott Sinclair (LW)

Sinclair has done admirably well in the last couple of games. He could give pace and unpredictability to Celtic’s attack on Thursday.

Callum McGregor

Callum McGregor (RW)

McGregor has been a permanent fixture in Celtic’s starting XI this term and must start in this all-important game in Lithuania.

Read more: Why Celtic must do everything in their capacity to hold onto this £13.5m Ligue 1 target

Moussa Dembele (ST)

Dembele has proven himself to be a prolific goalscorer for the Bhoys and now that he is fully fit, he must lead the attack on Thursday.

Written by Rohan Sengupta

Hi, I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.
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