ODSONNE EDOUARD and Leigh Griffiths could turn out to be Neil Lennon’s answer to Martin O’Neill’s Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton.

The Celtic boss has altered the team formation since the return to action following the mid-winter break and has decided to play two up front – for the time being, anyway.

The 22-year-old French striker and the Scotland international, 29, have dovetailed well with four successive Premiership triumphs as the eight-in-a-row champions have moved seven points clear at the top of the table.

Thirteen goals have been collected in the successes over Kilmarnock (3-1), Ross County (3-0), St Johnstone (3-0) and Hamilton Accies (4-1) with Griifths claiming three in his comeback games.

Edouard hoisted his tally for the campaign to 22 with a double strike against Accies on Sunday. Now the daring duo could team up again when the Hoops take on Motherwell at Fir Park tonight, their FORTY-FOURTH encounter of another gruelling programme.

The Irishman has tweaked his system to play 3-5-2, a formation he knows well from his days as Marin O’Neill’s onfield leader when the legendary Larsson, Sutton and Welsh powerhouse John Hartson shared the goalscoring duties.

PERTHQUAKE…Leigh Griffiths celebrates his strike in the 3-0 win over St Johnstone.

Looking at the partnership of Edouard and Griffiths, Lennon told the Daily Record: “It hasn’t surprised me how well they’ve linked up.

“Eddy is a top, top player and Leigh is experienced and a natural centre-forward. I think it suits him to have someone up there with him.

“I’m very pleased with it. I played with some great centre-forwards who were almost telepathic and sometimes the footballing intelligence brings that to the fore.

“It’s good to watch. You look at Antonio Conte, who’s had great success with this formation for a long time. I played in it for 10 years under Martin O’Neill, so it’s nothing new – Brendan Rodgers tried it a few times and we also used it against Lazio to great effect.

“I’m not playing two up front because it’s what I like – it’s what I think is best for the team at any given time.

“But, obviously, I like our strikers. They’re pivotal to the game and how you play, getting on the end of things and they earn the big money because they’re the ones who score the goals.

“Playing two up front doesn’t always work for you, but so far, so good.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Motherwell v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.


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