It has no relevance for tonight, but the best news from Brendan Rodgers media appearance yesterday was that Cameron Carter-Vickers and Daizen Maeda will return to action for Saturday’s game against Hearts. Both are huge players, especially so on Champions League nights, but the urgency of that matter has passed.
The defence will inevitably line-up the same as it did at Rugby Park. Liam Scales and Nat Phillips have both performed credibly in the Champions League this season, albeit the latter’s appearances have been limited. Get things right in front of them and they will do so again.
Callum McGregor will return to his pivot position deep in midfield, but who partners Matt O’Riley in the other central mid role is up for grabs. I expect Paulo Bernardo to get the nod. David Turnbull has yet to be offered a new contract, making it likely that Brendan will use the opportunity to further develop Paulo. Odin Holm’s chances have drifted.
Despite a lower return in front of goal, Kyogo remains at the top of our meritocratic Christmas tree. He is likely to find more space against a Champions League side than a packed Scottish Premiership defence. You’ll see the best of him tonight.
I hope Mikey Johnston enjoys himself. He is another who is rapidly running out of contract at Celtic and may not see football at this level again. The role of the winger has changed beyond recognition since the players (some of us) watched in the 80s. Mikey is a throwback to that time, a player who can dribble past defenders to open up space. Let’s see some of that against the Rotters.