How will Brendan Rodgers line Celtic up to face Hearts?

Celtic return to domestic action following another international break as they travel to Edinburgh to take on Steven Naismith’s Hearts at Tynecastle.

Celtic have been in good form in the league over the last few weeks with the Hoops looking like they are beginning to hit their stride, and Brendan Rodgers’ side will be further boosted by the return of some key players from injury layoffs in the last week or so.

Who will make up the central defensive partnership? Who will start on the wings? These are some of the selection considerations that Brendan Rodgers will answer around an hour before the 2:15pm kick-off.



Here is A Celtic State of Mind’s team predictions for Sunday afternoon’s fixture:

GK – Joe Hart

The English stopper came in for some criticism before the break for his tame attempt to prevent Lazio’s equaliser in the Champions League group stage. Domestically, though, Hart has been at the top of his game and he will definitely be Rodgers’ man between the stgicks this weekend.

RB – Alistair Johnston

The Canadian had a difficult international break, turning in a poor performance against Japan where the Samurai Blue’s attack caused him all sorts of problems. He has been solid all season for Celtic and, as one of the most consistent performers in green and white, he will keep his place in the team this weekend.

CB – Cameron Carter-Vickers

The American made his first start since a return from injury against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park and he will be expected to retain his place in the team. Given his importance to the Hoops over the last few years, whenever he is fit he will most likely play.

CB – Liam Scales

The return of Maik Nawrocki from injury, as well as Gustaf Lagerbielke’s exploits over the international break, may have raised some questions as to who will partner Carter-Vickers this afternoon. It would be harsh to drop Scales given he has only been on an upward trajectory so far this season and he should keep his place in the team.

LB – Greg Taylor

Taylor made his return to the Scotland team during the most recent round of internationals, getting a start in friendly action against France. He has been improving over the last few weeks and looks back to his best in a Celtic jersey again.


CM – Callum McGregor

The captain featured for Scotland over the international break as well, starting in a European Championship qualifier defeat against Spain. Much like Taylor, the captain has looked to be back to his best over the last few weeks.

CM – Reo Hatate

The Japanese midfielder came in for some criticism in the early stages of the season, but he put up his best performance of the season so far in the most recent fixture against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park. He will be looking to build upon that performance this weekend.

CM – Matt O’Riley

The Dane has been the most consistent player so far this season and his performances finally earned the recognition of the Danish national team as he was derservedly called up to the senior side for the first time earlier this week.

RW – Daizen Maeda

The 26-year-old was a doubt for this game due to a lack of updates on his fitness following his withdrawal from the Japanese national squad. However, Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that Daizen is fit and ready to play at Tynecastle.

ST – Kyogo Furuhashi

Kyogo was back in amongst the goals for Japan against Tunisia during the break and, given his impressive goalscoring record against Hearts, he will be expected to be one of the standout performers this weekend.

LW – Luis Palma

The Honduran has scored in his last two league games for Celtic, and the fact that both goals were straight out of the top drawer has led to Palma looking like the type of player who will swiftly become a fan favourite.


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