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Griffiths To Start – Predicted 4-1-4-1 Celtic Lineup To Face FC Astana In The UCL Playoffs

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Predicted Celtic Lineup To Face FC Astana In The First Leg Of The UEFA Champions League Playoffs

Scottish champions Celtic will face off Kazakhstan club FC Astana in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff stages at the Celtic Park on Wednesday night.

Brendan Rodgers’ side made it to the playoffs, after defeating Northern Irish club Linfield FC and Norwegian side Rosenborg BK in the second and third qualifying rounds respectively and will look to get a foot through the door to enter the group stages in the home leg on Wednesday. The Hoops come into the game on the back of a 1-0 away win against Partick Thistle in the Premiership and will be hoping to carry the form into the game against Astana.

Team News 

Striker Moussa Dembele and defender Dedryck Boyata continue to be absent for the Scottish club along with centre-back Erik Sviatchenko as well.

Manager: Brendan Rodgers

Formation: 4-1-4-1 

Craig Gordon (GK)  

The veteran stopper will once again man the goal for the Hoops. Has kept two clean sheets in the last two games and will be hoping to add another one in the midweek fixture. 

Mikael Lustig (RB) 

The Swedish international is Rodgers’ preferred right-back and he will take the field at the Parkhead against Astana.

Jozo Simunovic (CB) 

The Croatian has shouldered the defensive responsibilities well, without Boyata and Simunovic to partner him. More of the same is expected from him. 

Kristoffer Ajer (CB) 

After Nir Bitton’s off-night against Partick over the weekend, Rodgers will most likely call the young Kristoffer Ajer back into the starting XI. Has impressed each time he has played and another solid outing could be expected.  

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney

Kieran Tierney (LB) 

The young left-back has grown leaps and bounds over the last one year. Surely, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet for Rodgers.  

Scott Brown (DM) 

The captain is extremely vital to the way Celtic operate, as he allows the other midfielders the freedom to raid forward by taking up most of the defensive responsibilities. 

James Forrest (RW) 

Endured a poor game as a centre-forward over the weekend, but looked lively once he was shifted to the flanks. That’s where he could start on Wednesday, pushing out Jonny Hayes to the bench. 

Callum McGregor (CM) 

Has started off the 2017/18 campaign on an extremely strong note. Will start the game in the middle of the park.  

Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair

Olivier Ntcham (CM) 

The summer arrival was the hero for the Hoops on Friday night against Thistle, scoring the only goal of the game. That should be enough to warrant a place in the starting XI again.  

Scott Sinclair (LW) 

Is yet to find the form that made him the leading goal-scorer last season. Needs to start pulling his weight, especially with Dembele not being available for another month.

Leigh Griffiths (ST) 

The 26-year old did not start over the weekend but should get the nod for the midweek tie against Astana.

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