How will Brendan Rodgers line Celtic up to face St Johnstone?

Celtic will be looking to return to winning ways after two games without a win when they make the trip to Perth to take on Craig Levein’s St Johnstone side this afternoon.

After dropping points last weekend against Motherwell at Parkhead, Celtic followed that disappointing performance up midweek with a Champions League exit against Lazio.

The pressure is ramped back up on Celtic, who will be expected to get a result to stop a few bad results spiralling into a bad run of form. A quick start is also vitally important as they look to prevent any potential nerves creeping into the performance against the Saints.

How will Brendan Rodgers line-up to get the win? Here’s A Celtic State of Mind’s starting XI prediction:

GK – Joe Hart

Hart kept a clean sheet in the last contest against the Perth side but, after a hapless attempt to claim a Motherwell corner led to the Steelmen’s equaliser last weekend, he will be eager to redeem himself with an error-free performance this afternoon.

RB – Alistair Johnston

The Canadian will be looking for another solid and steady display this weekend. Midweek he didn’t put much of a foot wrong and he will be expected to contribute heavily to the Celtic attack with Craig Levein’s side not likely to be attacking too often.

CB – Cameron Carter-Vickers

Carter-Vickers didn’t feature in the scoreless draw between the two sides earlier in the season, but will be looking for a clean sheet against the Saints after losing out on one so late in the game last weekend.

CB – Liam Scales

The Irishman was easily brushed aside by Ciro Immobile for Lazio’s second in quick succession and the centre-back will be eager to right that wrong this afternoon with a solid performance.

LB – Greg Taylor

The full-back will be looking to put a tough European campaign behind him when he returns to domestic action, something that he has been thriving in over the last few weeks.


CM – Matt O’Riley

The Dane didn’t have the influence on the midweek game that we have come to expect, but a goal contribution in Perth will steer him back to the form he has shown all season.

CM – Callum McGregor

The captain was trying his best midweek and at one point was even dictating the tempo of the game, as we have seen him do so often domestically. He will have a job to do to galvanise the Celtic squad ahead of this afternoon’s fixture, but he has proved that he is more than capable of doing that.

CM – David Turnbull

Paulo Bernardo was preferred to the former Motherwell man midweek, but having someone like Turnbull in the team who is so good in the tight spaces could be a key to success against an organised and compact Craig Levein side.

RW – Yang Hyun-jun

The South Korean’s energy could be vital in the early stages as the Hoops look for an instant impact at McDiarmid Park.

ST – Kyogo Furuhashi

The Japanese forward will be looking to get back amongst the goals this weekend after just one goal in the last eight games in all competitions.

LW – Luis Palma

Palma was missed midweek as he served a suspension, but given he looked a bit leggy following the international break, a fit and firing Luis Palma will be a massive boost this afternoon.


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