Craig Fowler attempts to predict Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI for the crucial match in Belgium.
GK - Craig Gordon
Gave a reminder of his quality with a crucial save from Alfredo Morelos in the Old Firm game and, barring any last-minute injury, is a certainty to start against Anderlecht.
DR - Mikael Lustig; DC - Jozo Simunovic; DC - Dedryck Boyata; DL - Kieran Tierney
Finally Celtic have their full-strength defence and, after every one of them came through the clash with Rangers unscathed, it’s hard to imagine Rodgers going with anything else, especially with Erik Sviatchenko still on the treatment table and Anthony Ralston nursing a knee injury.
DM - Scott Brown; DM - Olivier Ntcham
Celtic will go more pragmatic against Anderlecht than they did against Rangers at the weekend. That doesn’t necessarily mean defensive, but rather a curtailing of the attack-minded players in the midfield area. Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic both like to get forward and support wherever possible, so look for the more restrained Ntcham to come back into the starting XI. Celtic will want to keep possession of the ball to frustrate the hosts and take their pressure off their own defence, and the pass-heavy Ntcham gives them the best chance of doing so.
READ MORE - How could Anderlecht line up against Celtic?
MR - James Forrest; MC - Stuart Armstrong; ML - Scott Sinclair
I am going down with the James Forrest ship. On the previous two occasions I’ve backed the winger to start for Celtic (against PSG and Rangers) and twice Rodgers has went with Patrick Roberts instead. Though starting with the Manchester City loanee wouldn’t be too much of a surprise for this match, Rodgers may have learns certain lessons from the PSG match and look provide greater cover to his full-backs, with Forrest a better defensive and tactically disciplined player than the technically superior Roberts.
FC - Leigh Griffiths
Rodgers hinted on Monday that Moussa Dembele is not yet fit enough to start crucial games. Having suffered back-to-back hamstring injuries, Celtic are cautiously handling his return to the first-team, and with a lack of match sharpness it’s difficult to envision him starting ahead of Griffiths for this game. Loan signing Odsonne Edouard appears to be little more than a substitute at this moment in time.