Celtic Predicted Starting XI vs Hearts as Ange Postecoglou delivers team news

  • John  Reid
Celtic players congratulate David Turnbull after he scored against Jablonec

Just three days after defeating Jablonec 3-0 in the Europa League qualifiers, it is back to domestic action for Celtic as the Hoops take on Hearts in the last 16 of the Premier Sports Cup.

Celtic will be looking for a measure of revenge against the Edinburgh side, who defeated Celtic 2-1 at Tynecastle last month in the opening game of the Premier League season. 

With so many games on the horizon – Celtic take on AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League play-off round first leg on Wednesday – manager Ange Postecoglou will need to get the balance right between playing those in form and avoiding fatigue.

Here’s a look at how Celtic could line-up when they kick-off at Celtic Park at 3:00pm on Sunday.

What’s the latest team news at Celtic?

Postecoglou revealed after Thursday’s win over Jablonec that Liel Abada missed out on the game as a precaution due to a slight injury, but he should be available to face Hearts if required.

“He pulled up a bit sore yesterday. He’s 19 and we’re throwing him in there. He’s been unbelievable but I just felt it was about time to give him a rest.

“The medical team think he should be alright for Sunday. We erred on the side of caution,” Postecoglou said as quoted by the Scotsman.

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Which Celtic stars will definitely start versus Hearts?

Whilst Postecoglou may be tempted to give some players a rest with AZ Alkmaar in mind, there are those in the Celtic side who will need to be picked as they are in a good vein of form.

Joe Hart seems certain to keep his place in goal after helping the Hoops keep two clean sheets in the last two games. David Turnbull would be a good bet to start too, after scoring twice in the win over Jablonec.

Left-back Greg Taylor looks set to feature as well – he provided the assist for Turnbull’s first goal.

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What decisions does Ange Postecoglou need to make?

Who plays as the striker could be an intriguing decision for the Hoops boss. Kyogo Furuhashi has started excellently for Celtic, scoring four goals, but he may be tempted to rest the new signing and bring in Odsonne Edouard. The Frenchman was involved in Celtic’s third goal against Jablonec when his shot was saved and James Forrest scored the rebound.

Another interesting decision will be whether to bring the aforementioned Abada back into the starting line-up. The Celtic boss seems confident that the winger will be fit, but he may not want to risk it and stick with the wingers that started against Jablonec – James Forrest and Ryan Christie.

Predicted Celtic XI vs Hearts

Hart; Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Taylor, Rogic, McGregor, Turnbull, Forrest, Christie, Edouard

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