Celtic take on Aberdeen this Saturday as Ange Postecoglou prepares to lift his second Scottish Premiership title as Hoops boss.

Although the game itself is meaningless, it will be a day of celebration for all supporters.

There will be a real party atmosphere at Parkhead with fans set to descend upon the Trongate following the match.

Even if the Bhoys don’t win, the post-match jubilation and title-winning scenes will not be tinted one iota, but nevertheless, the players will be eager to put in a performance and taste victory as a result of a recent drop-off in form.

And after a wealth of rotation on Wednesday night away at Hibernian, I believe Postecoglou will return to playing a team that is close to full strength this weekend.

Scott Bain was playing well midweek, making some smart saves until he practically threw in Elie Youan’s effort from range in the second half. Joe Hart will return for this one, though.

Joe Hart
7th May 2023; Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Hearts versus Celtic; Joe Hart of Celtic celebrates

Despite a return to training this week, I think this game is too soon for Alistair Johnston and Ange Postecoglou will not want to risk the Canadian and keep him in top condition for next week’s final. Due to this, Anthony Ralston will play at right back.

Making up the rest of defence will be Carl Starfelt, Yuki Kobayashi and Greg Taylor. I wouldn’t completely rule out a return for Stephen Welsh ahead of Kobayashi although he hasn’t played since October.

In midfield, Callum McGregor will play alongside Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley. This is Celtic’s strongest midfield.

Reo Hatate Celtic
11th March 2023; Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Cup Football, Hearts versus Celtic; Reo Hatate of Celtic hits a shot

Up front, Kyogo will return in spite of Oh’s midweek goal. The Japanese did come off the bench on Wednesday for nine minutes but his side were well beaten by that point.

Supporting Kyogo in attack will not be his compatriot Daizen Maeda due to his red card against Hibs and the resultant suspension. Jota will take his place on the left, where the Portuguese isceltic most effective.

On the opposite flank will be Liel Abada. The Israeli began midweek and could’ve had one or two goals for himself.

We will see the likes of James Forrest, Tomoki Iwata and Oh off the bench, although Sead Haksabanovic will not be able to come on and make his usual impact after he came off injured early on against Hibs.

Overall, then, here is my predicted lineup for Celtic’s trophy day clash with Aberdeen:

Hart, Ralston, Starfelt, Kobayashi, Taylor, McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Abada, Jota, Kyogo


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