Celtic turn their attention to the Scottish Cup this weekend when they make the trip to Paisley to face Stephen Robinson’s St Mirren side. Fans have been frustrated with the team’s performances since the return from the winter break, but Brendan Rodgers will be hoping the late winner at Easter Road against Hibernian in the previous fixture will have helped boost spirits around the club.
After exiting Viaplay Cup at the first time of asking at Rugby Park earlier in the season, Rodgers will be desperate for success in the competition, but St Mirren will present a much sterner challenge than the Buckie Thistle side they faced in the previous round.
Here are A Celtic State of Mind’s team predictions for tomorrow’s Scottish Cup fifth round clash;
GK – Joe Hart: The experienced stopper has saved Celtic’s bacon on a number of occasions in the last two fixtures, with some big saves at key moments helping the Hoops avoid defeat.
RB – Anthony Ralston: Brendan Rodgers confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Alistair Johnston may have suffered a slight fracture in the right side of his head after being stretchered off of the field at Easter Road mid-week. Ralston was solid from the bench when he replaced Johnston from the bench and should return to the starting eleven tomorrow.
CB – Maik Nawrocki: Maik Nawrocki may come back into the team for tomorrow’s fixture after Stephen Welsh limped off of the field when he was substituted in the previous fixture.
CB – Liam Scales: The absence of Cameron Carter-Vickers has meant that Liam Scales has had to take on more of a leadership role at the heart of the Celtic defence, and he will have t be at the top of his game with there being little margin for error in the Scottish Cup.
LB – Alexandro Bernabei: Greg Taylor looks like he will be unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s game, so Alexandro Bernabei should keep his place in the team and will be looking to build upon a positive mid-week display.
CM – Matt O’Riley: The Dane has let his performance levels slip slightly since returning from the winter break, and Brendan Rodgers will be looking for O’Riley to rediscover his top form from the first half of the season.
CM – Callum McGregor: The captain will be looking to dictate and control the game in Paisley tomorrow afternoon.
CM – Paulo Bernardo: Bernardo pressed well against Hibernian and will be hoping to rediscover his goal scoring touch against St Mirren tomorrow.
RW – Daizen Maeda: The Japanese’s return from the Asian cup was welcomed by Brendan Rodgers and Maeda will be looking to get back into the groove quickly after a slack display against Hibs.
ST – Adam Idah: Idah should retain his place in the starting eleven after scoring a double from the spot mid-week. He brought a different dynamic to Celtic’s attack and his performance should be enough to keep Kyogo Furuhashi out of the starting eleven.
LW – Luis Palma: After Nicolas Kuhn failed to make a real impact at Easter Road, Rodgers may look to welcome Luis Palma back into the fold on Sunday.