Fresh from a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against Manchester City in the Champions League, Celtic take on Partick Thistle at Firhill Stadium on Friday night as they look to keep on course for a historic unbeaten domestic treble.
Celtic are comfortably leading the Scottish Premiership table with an 8 point lead over second-placed Rangers with a further 3 games in hand. Although they were pushed to the brink last week, Celtic underlined their supremacy as Scottish champions with a thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 win at Motherwell. Partick Thistle, on the other hand, were held to a draw away at Hamilton and firmly find themselves fighting to avoid relegation.
Brendan Rodgers is expected to ring in the changes for this clash as the Hoops enter a busy festive schedule. Left-winger James Forrest, who went off with a hamstring injury against Manchester City, is a major injury concern. Scott Sinclair and Kieran Tierney remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Craig Gordon has firmly established himself to be Brendan Rodgers’ No1 between the sticks this season. Will be disappointed with the goal conceded on Tuesday night, but the Scottish custodian seems to be finding his rhythm with each passing start.
Passed the difficult test to contain Sane and Clichy on Tuesday night with flying colours, but should expect a comparatively comfortable night against a struggling Partick side.
Expectedly looked shaky last weekend at Motherwell without much competitive action since his move to Scotland. Was directly responsible for the two first-half goals Celtic conceded. Perfect opponents for the veteran to get some minutes under the belt, with all due respect to the Jags.
Except being outclassed for pace by Kelechi Iheanacho one or two times, Jozo Simunovic produced another fine performance for the Hoops, his failed summer move to Torino is well behind him.
Kieran Tierney’s unfortunate injury meant that Brendan Rodgers had to rely upon the previously outcast Emiliano Izaguirre for filling in the left-back spot. Cristian Gamboa, the summer signing from West Brom, could be handed another opportunity to prove his credentials.
Captain Scott Brown has been an influential figure for Celtic in the centre of midfield this season and could be a candidate for a rest for this game. Liam Henderson, the youngster who enjoyed massive success on loan at Hibernian last season, could be given an opportunity to stake a claim for more frequent starting appearances.
A standout performer in Celtic’s dramatic win at Motherwell last week, Stuart Armstrong is yet another player who seems to be realising his potential under Brendan Rodgers this season. With his directness while in possession, Scott Brown seems to have found a perfect ally in a two-man midfield combination functioning like a charm so far.
After a phenomenal return to his parent club on Tuesday night, it is imperative that Patrick Roberts keeps the momentum and consistency going so that he can truly prove he can make it even when back at Manchester City.
As Manchester City found out, Tom Rogic can find pockets of space even between the tightest of defensive backlines. The Aussie has been an absolute revelation for the Hoops this season, a nuisance to mark and contain.
James Forrest limped off with a hamstring injury at the Etihad Stadium and is unlikely to be risked ahead of an important festive schedule. Callum McGregor impressed from the bench against Motherwell last week and could be handed a start on the right.
Should start up front at Partick to allow Moussa Dembele a much-deserved break. The Scottish international has seen his game time limited due to Dembele’s rising success as a striker so far this season and will certainly have a point to prove this weekend.