Who will Brendan Rodgers start for Celtic against Lazio?

Celtic will line-up for their penultimate Champions League fixture tonight as they make the trip to Rome to face Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Italian giants haven’t been in the greatest of form domestically but currently sit second in the Champions League group. Celtic will see this as a must-win game if they are to have any chance of securing European football after Christmas, with wins over Lazio and Feyenoord needed to secure that third-place finish.

Rodgers will have plenty on his mind as he chooses his team for this win-or-bust game, with a lacklustre display against Motherwell at the weekend as well as the suspension of Luis Palma for this fixture all influencing his team selection for the game in Rome.

Here is A Celtic State of Mind’s team prediction for tonight’s encounter.

GK – Joe Hart

After an error against Motherwell for Jonathan Obika’s equaliser on Saturday, Hart will be eager to bounce back on the biggest stage in European football. With the Hoops expected to face immense pressure against the Italians, a top performance from the experienced stopper will be an absolute necessity.

RB – Alistair Johnston

The Canadian had a tough time of it against Atlético Madrid as he was consistently bypassed by the Atleti wide players. After a rest at the weekend, hopefully Johnston will be back in for tonight.

CB – Cameron Carter-Vickers

Carter-Vickers was one of few Celts who earned pass marks at the weekend but will be eager to right the wrongs of the previous meeting with the Biancocelesti, where it was his uncharacteristic error that led to Pedro’s winning goal at Parkhead.

CB – Liam Scales

Scales has been one of the standout performers for Celtic in the Champions League so far this season with his only blip coming in the 6-0 defeat by Atlético Madrid in the previous European game, a game in which every Celt on the park had an off day. If he can turn in another inspired performance on Tuesday then it will serve Celtic well.

LB – Greg Taylor

Much like the aforementioned Johnston, Taylor had a very poor game against Atleti and will need to raise his levels for the trip to the Olimpico tonight.

CM – Matt O’Riley

O’Riley has arguably been Celtic’s best player in the Champions League this season, something that has caught the eye of not only his national team but also the scouts of clubs across Europe. The Dane being at the top of his game will be pivotal for any chance of Celtic success against Lazio.

CM – Callum McGregor

The captain will have an important part to play tonight as he will have to compete with an astute Lazio midfield as well as setting the tempo for the Celtic attack going forward.

CM – David Turnbull

The outside shout for the starting XI but it looks like the right time to offer Turnbull his first Champions League start for Celtic. After some good form in the league over the last few games, the midfielder has earned his place in the team against Lazio.

RW – Yang Hyun-jun

Yang didn’t have the impact on Saturday he would have liked, but he will be looking to improve upon his lacklustre display against Lazio last time round.

ST – Kyogo Furuhashi

Criticism has come Kyogo’s way after a quiet few games in the league, but in the Champions League he has been finding some form and will be looking for another goal against Lazio tonight.

LW – Mikey Johnston

It would be a big call but without Liel Abada, Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma for this fixture, Celtic are down to the bare bones on the wings and tonight would be a massive (perhaps the final) opportunity for Mikey Johnston to show his worth at the club as he aims for a new deal as well as a starting position.


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