Brendan Rodgers will be hoping to make a better effort of the Scottish Cup than he did the Viaplay Cup as Celtic prepare for tomorrow’s fifth round clash with St Mirren.
The Buddies comfortably dispatched of Hibernian 3-0 at Easter Road the previous week and followed that up with a 2-0 home win over Dundee mid-week, and the Buddies will be up for the test as then trophy holders come to town.
Celtic haven’t been at their usual brilliant best since returning from the winter break, with dropped points at Aberdeen coming in amongst lacklustre performances in the victories over Ross County and Hibernian.
With the team not performing to the level that supporters know that they can, Brendan Rodgers will be looking to make some tweaks to ensure that Celtic are as best prepared for tomorrow’s test as they possibly can be.
Here are a few changes that the manager could make for the Scottish Cup fifth round clash with Stephen Robinson’s side.
Taylor back in the team
Greg Taylor has been the consistent starter for Brendan Rodgers’ side this season, but a knock picked up late in the game in the previous round against Buckie Thistle has kept the Scotland international out of action for the last few fixtures.
Alexandro Bernabei has deputised in place of Taylor but he is nowhere near the solid option that Taylor presents, as evidenced by Celtic’s attempts to ship off the Argentine in the January transfer window.
Brendan Rodgers stated in his pre-match press conference that he wasn’t 100% sure whether Taylor would be fit for tomorrow’s game, but if he is fit, then he has to start against St Mirren.
Whilst there is uncertainty around his fitness, the manager did confirm that Taylor would be fit for next week’s home match against Taylor’s former club Kilmarnock.
Palma back on the wing
Nicolas Kuhn was brought into the team at Easter Road for his first start in a Celtic shirt, but the German couldn’t build upon the positive cameo he had from the bench at Pittodrie in the fixture prior.
The January signing cut a nervous figure, showing hesitancy to really get involved in the game and was hooked on the hour-mark for Liel Abada.
With Abada not performing any better than Kuhn when he came onto the field, if Rodgers looks to make some changes on the wings then Luis Palma is the likely option to come back into the team.
Change of shape
A change of tactical shape is something the supporters have been calling for over the last few weeks, but it appears that at the moment the manager is sticking with his guns and holding firm with his style of play.
The team doesn’t look to be getting to grips with his style of play, with Kyogo Furuhashi being the main player suffering from Rodgers’ tactics, severely underperforming compared to his form last season where he swept the club’s player of the year awards.
The wings haven’t been aiding Celtic’s attacking play as often as they really should be, so a tactical tweak to a 3-5-2 or perhaps even 4-4-2 diamond with Luis Palma playing behind the two strikers could be two tactical changes that the manager could look to make.