May 26, 2024

 

 

 

On Saturday at Easter Road, Celtic will try to resume their winning ways following a disappointing 0-0 draw with Hibernian.

This evening’s game against St. Mirren is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate that Saturday was only an anomaly, as Celtic lost two points against Hibernian and Rangers gained two on the Hoops with late goals against Hearts.

However, St Mirren, who are unquestionably the third-best team in Scotland this year, will be a tough opponent. With a game remaining against the Ayrshire side, the Saints are currently five points ahead of Kilmarnock, who are in fourth place.

Only twice this season has Celtic lost ground in the Scottish Premiership, and that was on Saturday. The fact that the Hoops have prevailed over teams like Aberdeen, Rangers, Livingston, Motherwell, and Hearts indicates that this season’s start has been the most challenging in recent memory. It is a testament to the work Brendan Rodgers is doing behind the scenes with the team that they have only dropped points twice and are leading the table by five points.

Due to a head knock, Alistair Johnston was replaced just 26 minutes into the match on Saturday. Despite the concerning injury scare to a player who has developed into an indispensable member of the starting lineup since joining the team in December 2022, he has trained over the last few days and should be good to go.

Team predictions for Celtic vs. St. Mirren

Joe Hart continues to play goalie. The only uncertainty surrounding the back four is who will start at right-back, Anthony Ralston or Alistair Johnston. The Canadian ought to appear because he has bounced back from that setback from the weekend.

Greg Taylor is most likely to cap off an unaltered defence. Liam Scales and Cameron Carter-Vickers have developed a strong partnership in recent weeks, and both are likely to keep their spots. Taylor is almost guaranteed to start because Celtic’s backup left-back Alexandro Bernabei hasn’t been on the bench in the Scottish Premiership since his Ibrox substitute appearance.

Reo Hatate, who won’t be back until after Christmas, has one midfield spot available. Paulo Bernardo is the most likely candidate to take Hatate’s place. Odin Thiago Holm and David Turnbull are other possibilities; Turnbull saw 33 minutes of action over the weekend.

Bernardo’s performance as a substitute against Atletico Madrid indicates that, despite his lacklustre performance against Hibernian, he will start in midfield alongside Matt O’Riley, who has been Celtic’s standout player thus far this season, and Mr. Reliable Callum McGregor.

James Forrest and Mikey Johnston, who put on strong performances over the weekend, could start up front. After a taxing match against Atletico Madrid, Forrest and Johnston’s weekend cameo appearances appear to be little more than an opportunity to get healthy for Daizen Maeda and Luis Palma. I think both will get going.

Even though Kyogo Furuhashi was replaced early on Saturday, he is arguably Celtic’s first name on the team sheet and is expected to start.

 

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