CHARLIE NICHOLAS has put himself in Neil Lennon’s shoes ahead of the Glasgow Derby on Sunday and believes the Celtic manager will rely on Scott Brown to come up with the goods.
Nicholas outlines the team he thinks should start at Ibrox and how the Celtic manager will be thinking.
He has Conor Hazard starting and while he wouldn’t personally put Scott Brown into the midfield, he believes the Celtic manager will call upon his captain for experience.
It means Soro would again be sitting on the bench for a big game, considering he’s not done much wrong, it would be frustrating for the central midfielder.
Turnbull is a must to start and Nicholas believes that will be the case.
Most pundits agree the Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths partnership should continue.
Their goals per game ratio together is impressive and they can cause defenders all sorts of problems.
Nicholas told RecordSport his thinking ahead of the weekend: ” Celtic need to go across the city, impose themselves and lay down a marker.
“Rangers have had the upper hand in recent Old Firm derbies – even the ones they have lost – and they have caused Celtic problems in the wide areas.
“That is where Lennon will have a headache when it comes to his starting XI.
“In midfield, I would probably pick Ryan Christie, David Turnbull and Mohamed Elyounoussi, with Callum McGregor behind them.
“But I can see Lennon turning to Scott Brown.
“He has been a big player in these fixtures and although his performances have been on the wane, the captain still has the experience and know-how of derby day.
“He also came up with a strong performance in the Scottish Cup Final.
“Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard started the last two games and Lennon needs to keep the pair partnered in attack against Rangers.
“Conor Hazard will be in goal and Lennon must do everything in his power to protect the rookie keeper.
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“I would go for a back four of Kris Ajer, Nir Bitton, Christopher Jullien and Diego Laxalt.”
The game will mean very little if Celtic don’t do the business against Dundee Utd on Wednesday. We need to take care of business at Celtic Park before going across the city to claw back the deficit.
Unlike last time, at this point, there’s no covid call-offs for the bhoys and we have our fingers crossed that will stay the same.