Celtic have failed to replicate their domestic supremacy in the European competitions, but an emphatic Old Firm victory on Saturday afternoon has uplifted their spirit ahead of hosting the reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid this midweek. They have won all their games comprehensively so far this season, however, the test on Tuesday night would be extremely tricky, given Los Blancos’ quality across the field.
The Hoops have played some fascinating football under Ange Postecoglou and the Aussie boss should not alter his strategy for this Champions League contest. They also have RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in their group and an upset at Parkhead might hand them a head start after years of struggle in Europe.
Predicted 4-3-3 Celtic Lineup To Face Real Madrid
Joe Hart has ample Champions League experience and his presence between the sticks is proving key to their sheer dominance week in week out. A clean sheet might sound a bit ambitious, but you never know what could happen at Celtic Park.
Josip Juranovic is excellent down the left with his balanced approach between defence and attack. The Croatian is irreplaceable down the right, and so is Greg Taylor, who is appreciated for his composure and consistency as a left fullback. Cameron Carter-Vickers has been rock solid in the heart of the backline, but the USMNT international is likely to be paired up with Moritz Jenz ahead of Carl Starfelt. The Swedish centre-half is now a major doubt after sustaining a knee injury against Rangers.
Skipper Callum McGregor remains the vital cog for his ability to pull the strings and orchestrate the game from his deep-lying midfield role. Matt O’Riley must operate in a box-to-box role after a weekend masterclass, however, the gaffer should opt for David Turnbull in place of Reo Hatate as the other ‘number 8’, as he had an impressive cameo versus their bitter rivals. Besides Hatate, the experience of Aaron Mooy might prove gainful at a later stage of the match.
Celtic have received a massive fitness boost with Kyogo Furuhashi back in team training recovering from a shoulder injury picked up against Rangers. The Japanese sensation is in contention to spearhead the attack, also the in-form Filipe Jota and Liel Abada must occupy the wide attacking spots. The likes of Daizen Maeda, James Forrest and Giorgos Giakoumakis should be involved as ‘super subs’ if the situation demands.
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