I don’t normally do these types of articles but thought I’d have a bit of fun tonight and try to predict the Celtic line-up Ange Postecoglou will pick to play Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup at Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon.
I’ll give my starting eleven with some reasons below.
GK: Scott Bain – There’s a good chance that Ange will just stick with Joe Hart as he has done in cup competitions so far, but he’s just given Bain a new contract until 2024. If there is any game to play Bain, it’s going to be this one, away from the pressure of the league against a lesser team and at home, he shouldn’t be troubled too much.
RB: Anthony Ralston – Juranovic has been out with an illness recently so I expect Ralston to keep his place the team for this game. And even if fit I think Ralston would still play.
CB: Stephen Welsh – Again, Ange doesn’t really change the defence unless he has too, but I think Welsh will come in for this one to give Carter-Vickers a much deserved rest.
CB: Christopher Jullien – Finally he is back from injury after being out for what feels like forever, this is the perfect game to bring him in and get his confidence and match fitness up. And also to give Starfelt a much needed rest as well.
LB: Liam Scales – Taylor has been starting recently and seems to be the No.1 pick at left back. I expect Liam Scales to come in and be given a chance like he was in the last cup game against Alloa.
CDM: James McCarthy – Another chance for one of our mainstays to get a well deserved break, our captain courageous Callum McGregor. Ideguchi started against Alloa in this position and I’m not sure he’s ready to come back in after injury so I think McCarthy will play in this role. A good game to get 90 mins and get his confidence and match sharpness up. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bitton started instead, but I think he kind of knows what Bitton can do, whereas we haven’t really seen McCarthy at his best yet.
RCM: Matt O’Riley – He’s done great since he’s came in and I expect him to keep his place in midfield on Sunday.
LCM: Tom Rogic – We saw Rogic and O’Riley play together against Dundee Utd for a while the other day and I think we’ll see it again tomorrow. Hatate has just played a full season and has played almost every game since he came in. Perfect time to give him a rest since Rogic got a rest against Aberdeen in midweek.
RW: James Forrest – I expect to see Forrest come back into the side for this one. Abada deserves a rest, he plays almost every game and has been great for us. Forrest has failed to impress so far this season. People are writing him off as finished which I think is premature. He still looks fit and pacey, he’s just been making some poor in games decisions when he’s played recently. Sunday is the perfect game to get his match sharpness up and hopefully grab a goal or an assist.
CF: Giorgos Giakoumakis – I was excited to see Maeda play against Aberdeen but I was surprised he started at Pittodrie instead of Giakoumakis, who probably would have been more suited to a tough away game, even though Maeda did well to assist O’Riley, he was fairly quiet in the game. I think GG comes back in to the starting eleven. He’s done well recently but could do with getting a couple of goals to boost his confidence, which if course is everything for a striker.
LW: Daizen Maeda – I think Ange will want to see more of Maeda in the team. He did mostly start on the left playing in Japan but getting himself into the box to score. I think we’ll see him on the left while Ange tries to determine his best position going forward for us.