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Celtic predicted lineup vs Lazio including “terrific” whiz and no Holm

Celtic return to Champions League action on Tuesday night as they go in search of their first win in the group stages of the competition this season.

The Hoops are firmly rooted to the bottom of the table and have managed one draw and three defeats from their opening four European ties.

Brendan Rodgers‘ side were humbled by a 6-0 defeat to Spanish giants Atletico Madrid last time out and they now travel to Italy to face Lazio.

The Northern Irish head coach’s side come into this match off the back of a disappointing 1-1 draw with Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.

He could look to make a few alterations to his starting XI after that draw and here is our predicted line-up – including four changes – to face the Italian side on Tuesday…

1
Joe Hart


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The former England international – Joe Hart – could start between the sticks as the veteran shot-stopper has only missed one match in the Premiership and Champions League combined so far this season. This suggests that the boss trusts him and that is why he may start on Tuesday.

2
Alistair Johnston


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At right-back, Alistair Johnston could return to the starting line-up after Anthony Ralston came in to play the full 90 minutes against Motherwell.

The Canada international has started all four of the club’s Champions League matches so far this season and it remains to be seen whether or not his Scottish teammate has done enough to oust him from a fifth European selection.

Johnston has made 3.6 tackles and interceptions per match in Europe, whilst Ralston is yet to feature in a single game in the competition, and could provide a strong defensive presence on the right side of the backline.

3
Cameron Carter-Vickers


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It would not be a shock to see the former Tottenham Hotspur enforcer at the heart of the defence. The 25-year-old colossus has won 61% of his duels in the competition this season and could be a commanding presence at the back with his dominant defending.

4
Liam Scales


Next to the USA international, Liam Scales could complete the central defensive pairing. He has started 16 of the club’s 18 matches in the Premiership and Champions League so far.

5
Greg Taylor


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At left-back, Greg Taylor could keep his place. He has started all four of the club’s European matches so far this season and has contributed with 1.8 tackles and interceptions combined per match.

6
Callum McGregor


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Starting in midfield, it would be a surprise to see the captain lose his position in the side as Callum McGregor has started all 18 of the club’s Premiership and Champions League matches so far this season.

7
David Turnbull

The second alteration that could be made to the starting XI is Scotland international David Turnbull being brought in for Odin Thiago Holm, who could be ditched from the midfield.

Against Motherwell, the Norwegian midfielder was named in the starting line-up and flopped with a disappointing display. He lost five of his six duels and failed to create any chances for his teammates, to go along with zero shots on goal, before being withdrawn at half time.

Whereas, Turnbull came off the bench and impressed with one key pass, a 100% duel success rate (2/2), and one goal from the penalty spot to secure a point.

The Scottish whiz, who was once lauded as a “terrific” player by ex-Hoops man Peter Grant, has four goals in his last five games for Celtic and could provide an attacking threat from midfield.

He has also created four ‘big chances’ in the Premiership and could offer creativity as well as goalscoring, whilst Holm has zero goals and two ‘big chances’ created in eight matches in the top-flight.

8
Matt O’Riley


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The third and final position in midfield could go to Denmark U21 international Matt O’Riley, who has two ‘big chances’ created and two assists in four European outings this season.

9
Hyun-jun Yang


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Hyun-jun Yang could retain his position on the right side of the attack as Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada continue to recover from their respective injury woes.

10
Hyeon-gyu Oh

In the number nine position, Hyeon-gyu Oh could start ahead of Kyogo Furuhashi as the third change to ensure that the Hoops have a useful outlet at the top end of the pitch.

In the 6-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid, the Japan international struggled badly and failed to provide his team with an outball to relieve pressure when the hosts were piling it on.

Statistic

Kyogo vs Atletico Madrid (7/11/23 via Sofascore)

Minutes played

61

Sofascore rating

6.4

Goals

Zero

Assists

Zero

Touches

Eight

Passes completed

Zero

Duel success rate

25%

As you can see in the table above, Kyogo was a lightweight who offered incredibly little in and out of possession and this was also the case against Motherwell on Saturday.

The striker completed three passes and failed to score a goal or create any chances for his teammates whilst also only winning one duel in 67 minutes.

Oh, who has scored three Premiership goals this season, came off the bench against Motherwell and caught the eye by winning three of his five duels and a penalty, which was converted by the aforementioned Turnbull.

He has won 60% of his aerial battles in the Champions League this season, compared to Kyogo’s 0%, and could, therefore, offer more of a presence for Celtic to compete with opposition defenders.

11
Mikey Johnston

Finally, Mikey Johnston could line up on the left of the attack as Luis Palma is serving a one-match suspension and the likes of Maeda and Abada are also out.

There are no other natural wide players for Rodgers to be able to bring into the starting line-up, which means that moving someone out of position would be the only way to avoid Johnston being handed a start.

He created one ‘big chance’ and won a penalty in 28 minutes off the bench against Motherwell over the weekend and this match could be a huge opportunity for him to start and showcase his quality on the biggest stage.

It could allow him to stake a claim for more minutes moving forward if the 24-year-old whiz is able to grasp the chance and make an impact against Lazio.

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