Experimentation is over, Celtic core ready for Sunday


The learning period and experimentation is over.  Neil Lennon will play a more familiar looking line-up on Sunday, with James Forrest on the right, Ryan Christie in the middle.  Neither are as effective in other positions.

Odsonne Eduard will be given every chance.  He, Boli Bolingoli, Jonny Hayes and Mohamed Elyounoussi have all been allowed to recuperate from various strains in recent weeks.  Even if they all pass fitness tests, due to their common injury type, Neil has to consider the high possibility of a relapse in their first outing.  This could force early substitutions in a game that could go to extra-time.

These permutations make a lottery out of guessing our left flank.  Bolingoli or Hayes at left back, with Elyounoussi or Mikey Johnston at left-mid.  Johnston is back from injury and in sparkling form.  He played a crucial role in the win at Ibrox in September when these two teams last met but Neil Lennon may prefer Elyounoussi to add a greater physical presence.

Jeremie Frimpong will almost certainly get the nod ahead of Moritz Bauer, with Hatem Elhamed still injured (from yet another strain).  The regular core of the side: Kristoffer Ajer, Christopher Jullien, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Fraser Forster, will all play.

This is not an occasion for an inexperienced winger to play centre forward.  Lewis Morgan is at the very early stages of learning this role, if Eduard is not fit, Leigh Griffiths should start.

Whoever loses on Sunday will leave Hampden knowing they have bigger fish to fry this season, but the victory will make anything and everything seem possible for the winners.

In Celtic’s favour, they have players who have regularly been through challenges like this and come away with the win.  Players like McGregor, Forrest and Brown could write a manual on how to win at Hampden.  We can also expect a match-winning performance from James Forrest.

After recovering from a two-goal deficit against Newco on Wednesday, Aberdeen manager, Derek McInnes, spoke about the aggression his team showed to get back into the game.  On Sunday, both teams will be hyped up and ready for the battle, managing that aggression, however, will be important.  Celtic are clear favourites but a careless red card would change that.

Tom Rogic signed shirt raffle for Celtic FC Foundation

The Celtic squad wore a special shirt for last month’s league game against Motherwell, bearing the Celtic FC Foundation Christmas Appeal logo instead of the normal Dafabet logo on the front, and the words “Christmas Appeal” on the back, instead of the Magners logo.

Tom Rogic’s signed shirt from that day is available for raffle.  Each donation of £10 or more will be entered into a draw, which will take place on Friday 13 December.  The shirt will be posted on Monday 16th (or available for collection at the Hibs game on Sunday 15th).

The Celtic FC Foundation do incredible work throughout the world all year round, but their work with those most in need in the winter months, and for children and families coping with chronic poverty, can give warmth, nourishment, self-respect and  human compassion that some people struggle to find.  All donations go straight to the Foundation.

This is why Celtic exists.  You can enter here at JustGiving.  Good luck and thank you!!


About Author


  1. Saint Stivs


    Condolences on your sad loss, RIP Bill Higgins.


    Remember the good times, memories are forever.



  2. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    St Stivs, RIP your dad. Sad news bruv. Will be thinking about you both as we pummel the zombies today.




  3. Forster, Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Hayes, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Christie, El younoussi, Morgan



    Rumoured team




    Terrible news!



    May your Dad rest in peace.



    Prayers said for you and your family.

  5. I hope Morgan is not in our starting line up. There I said it.too light weight and he is a feckin winger. Wtf.



    I would rather have a half fit Griff. I also hope Eddie is on the bench.






    D. :)

  6. Right whatever team starts just keep the tempo up, pass, pass and move.



    Talking about moving, pub time for this Bhoy.






    Hail Hail



    D. :)

  7. David66,



    I hope Lewis is MOTM, if he is selected.



    Their defence is prone to mistakes and This Celtic team pressurise so very well.

  8. !!BADA BING!! on 8TH DECEMBER 2019 11:06 AM


    Forster, Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Hayes, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Christie, El younoussi, Morgan




    Rumoured team





    Seen the doing the rounds. If Eddy isn’t 100 it makes sense. Morgan could run them into channels for an hour (something they struggle with as they lack mobility) and then bring on Eddy and Mikey. Game could go to extra time and no way Eddy or Elyo last 120.



    Also shifts more pressure and expectation on to them when they see Eddy int playing.

  9. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Like the Morgan inclusion, will run his legs off dropping deep to do this which helps mid and defence. Run them ragged Lewis and score a couple to shut yer detractor up as well


    Only Hatem El Ahmed and Jozo Simunovic are unavailable, and that leaves Neil Lennon with an embarrassment of riches to choose from. Despite this rumour from last night..




  11. Had to turn radio hunland aff these feks are desperate for a win……..thinking if they nullify broony then thats it. Secretly they know if theyer not at their best the Celts will crush them.

















    I took your photo in BARCA a good few years ago with your pub banner.


    I gave it to my neighbour a few days ago and his son GRAHAM KELLY sends his regards.he was at school with all of you and ANTMAN MCBRIDE>

  13. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Not one of my normal messages . Bit more serious . If anybody knows of any lonely old people who will be eating Christmas dinner alone because they have no family or close friends, can they let me know, I need to borrow some chairs

  14. If Eddie doesn’t make it Ryan,Callum and Jamsey will just have to score extra to make up for it.



  15. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    St Tams, so you missed the goal assists and work rate, did you see the last three games he played?

  16. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from Neesons bar in rain lashed Govanhill. Guinness to calm my shredded nerves. 🍺😳

  17. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Personal perspective.


    The two point lead in the league is worth much more than today`s SFA bauble.


    We have legitimate European aspirations now.



    The worst case scenario :


    The weather is a great leveller .


    Should they win today , their season will be complete. Psychologically , the expectations of their rabble will be appeased . They will gain in confidence , but the desperate demand to prevent nine will diminish significantly .


    Equally , the pressure on us will diminish significantly with our first domestic trophy loss.



    While I`m as desperate as are we all to keep our proverbial foot on their proverbial neck , a loss today will have its compensations .



    Having said all of that , I would hate to lose.


    Hail Hail to all.

  18. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    What you talking about a win for them feeds their triumphalism and they expect to win the title cause they’re back and a trophy proves it.


    Get a grip ffs

  19. SAINT STIVS on 8TH DECEMBER 2019 6:44 AM


    It has been a stormy night here in Greenock.


    My father leaves the mortal world after a courageous fight that shames the devil.


    Give him your prayers please. And a Celtic win today.


    God bless him.


    Bill HIggins.




    Thoughts and prayers with your Dad, yourself and family at this difficult time

Do Not Sell My Personal Information