3 Celtic curveballs Brendan Rodgers could throw at Motherwell

Celtic travel to Lanarkshire to take on Stuart Kettlewell’s Motherwell side this afternoon with one eye on Tuesday’s visit of Lazio to Celtic Park in the Champions League.

Although Brendan Rodgers will be laser-focussed on the task at hand, the visit of the Italians may play into the gaffer’s thinking when it comes to team selection.

The starting XI Rodgers fields this weekend will most likely be the closest team to the one that faces off against the Italian giants, but here are 3 curveballs Rodgers could throw for tomorrow’s early kick-off:

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Nat Phillips

The English centre-back has only started one fixture for Celtic so far this season and he was looking like a decent acquisition before he rolled his ankle moments before half-time.

Signed as an emergency loanee due to the current injury crisis affecting Celtic’s centre-back area, the 26-year-old getting injured certainly wasn’t part of the plan. Thankfully, Rodgers confirmed in his pre-match press conference this week that Phillips will be in contention for a start against Motherwell.

With Gustaf Lagerbielke suspended for the visit of Lazio after his red card against Feyenoord in Rotterdam, getting some minutes in the legs of Phillips, who has Champions League experience, ahead of that game would be a very wise move from the manager.



Luis Palma

much like the aforementioned Nat Phillips, the Honduran has only seen one start in a Celtic shirt so far this season, that coming away to Feyenoord in the Champions League. With Liel Abada’s injury throwing Celtic’ starting XI up in the air, Rodgers has been testing the waters with his wingers over the last few weeks with three different right-wingers starting in the three games played since Abada picked up that injury.

Rodgers clearly has a lot of faith in the former Aris man as he trusted Palma with starting that vital Champions League game, and as Celtic’s second-most expensive signing of the summer, Palma would be the man expected to start with Abada out injured.

He has shown that he has the potential to cause problems for opposition defenders, as he had the Feyenoord defenders panicking a few times whenever he cut inside onto his right foot. Allowing him to hit his stride in a Celtic shirt this weekend before a start on Tuesday evening would be a good idea.


Marco Tilio

The Aussie was spotted in a Celtic shirt for the first time since his signing this summer as he lined up for the Celtic B team in testimonial action against Ayr United.

He joined the club with a good reputation back in his homeland but also suffering an injury. However, if the 22-year-old is back in first-team training and getting closer to match fitness, an appearance for the Aussie on the bench and a potential debut if the scoreline is looking convincing in the latter stages could be an option this weekend.


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