CARL STARFELT will make a dramatic return to the first team for tonight’s final Champions League Group F encounter against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
With Cameron Carter-Vickers injured in the 3-0 win at Livingston on Sunday, boss Ange Postecoglou has been forced to rush the Swedish centre-half into his central rearguard alongside Moritz Jenz.
Starfelt has been sidelined since coming off with a knee injury in the 4-0 derby romp at the start of September. He has missed the last TWELVE matches, but has been back in training at Lennoxtown in recent weeks.
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME…Carl Starfelt is back after missing 12 games.
The £4.2million buy from Rubin Kazan in July last year is just one of four changes from the team that won in West Lothian three days ago.
Josip Juranovic, Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda are in the starting line-up for the head to head with the reigning European champions with Anthony Ralston, James Forrest and Sead Haksabanovic named among the stand-by squad.
Filipe Jota, who made a goalcoring return to the team at the weekend as a late substitute, has not been risked at kick-off, but could still figure as the curtain comes down on the European adventure for another season.
With Callum McGregor and Carter-Vickers both out, 75 times-capped England international keeper Joe Hart will captain the side.
TEAM: Hart; Juranovic, Jenz, Starfelt, Taylor; Mooy, O’Riley, Hatate; Abada, Kyogo, Maeda. Subs: Siegrist, Bain, Giakoumakis, Haksabanovic, Turnbull, McCarthy, Jota, Bernabei, Abildgaard, Forrest, Ralston, Welsh.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Real Madrid v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.