Celtic will play their second consecutive away game in the league as they travel to Fir Park to take on Motherwell this afternoon.
Despite the Steelmen suffering defeats in their last two league games, they have had a positive start to the season with three wins from six leaving them in fourth place in the league table.
Although Fir Park provides a stern challenge for any team travelling to Motherwell, Celtic will be encouraged by the fact that they are unbeaten in 27 meetings between the two sides, with the last loss to the Steelmen coming back in December 2015.
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Celtic have been returning back to their best in recent weeks, with a win at Ibrox seeming to have galvanised not just the players on the park but the fans too.
Rodgers showed his skilled in-game management in last weekend’s win at Livingston, another notoriously tough ground to go to, as Celtic comfortably saw off David Martindale’s side at the Tony Macaroni Arena despite a red card to Joe Hart. Star performances on the day from Matt O’Riley and Daizen Maeda also helped contribute to the victory and the Hoops will be even further encouraged by the new contract extension signed with Reo Hatate, keeping the Japanese midfielder at the club until 2028.
Brendan Rodgers will have a lot to think about when it comes to team selection, especially in defence with Nat Phillips being in contention for a start as confirmed by the boss during his mid-week press conference. With the visit of Lazio to Celtic Park in the former Liverpool boss’s mind, starting the English centre-back ahead of Gustaf Lagerbielke may be a wise move to get some minutes in his legs ahead of that massive game on Tuesday night.
Celtic will be without Joe Hart for this game following the first red card of a 736-game career, so Scott Bain will be expected to come into the team for his second appearance between the sticks this season.
Rodgers will be looking for a good performance from Kyogo Furuhashi this afternoon. it is a very rare that the Japanese forward will go two games without a goal in a Celtic shirt, and after a quiet performance at the Tony Macaroni Arena last weekend, having Kyogo back in amongst the goals before Tuesday’s Champions League game will be vital for Celtic’s chances against the Italians.
JAMES MCKENZIE // Follow James HERE