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By Joe Brady

With another Champions League qualifier hours away will Lennon get his tactics and selections right this time around and achieve qualification?

We expect Karagandy to sit in, retain their shape and discipline and make Celtic work for their openings. Any attacking threat from the Kahzaks will come from long throws or on the counter attack, which was our undoing last week.

I would expect to see Mulgrew moved back into central defence to partner Virgil van Dijk to add some composure and experience to the back pairing, something lacking from the first leg. These two will need to withstand the aerial pressure we are lightly to come under.

At right back I would opt for Adam Mathews ahead of Lustig. The Welshmen offers more in attack and defence than his Swedish counterpart. The right flank was largely ineffective previously, Mathews will hopefully hit the byline and look to fire over crosses.

Izaguirre will no doubt play on the left side; he will offer us much of the same as Adam Mathews, the ability to get forward and look to find those in the area, as he did expertly in out last Champions League home tie.

With regards to the midfield it is difficult to say how we will line up, there are question marks over the fitness over Commons, Boerrigter and Forrest. Kayal defiantly side lined with a groin injury.

Whoever Lennon has at his disposal should have the ability to retain the ball in the middle and make the team tick from the centre of the park.

If Commons is available I would play him behind the centre forward where he can find space and Samaras on the left to run at their defence rather than play on their shoulder.

In the first leg we saw them defend with two rigid banks of four. Kris commons was the only player able to find space between them but he had difficult supplying the final pass, forcing him to shoot from distance.

This showed that Samaras doesn’t have the instinctive nature out an out striker required to play up front on his own. He wonders wide or drops deep and looks to run at defences, this is where his talents lie and Celtic need to utilise them tonight if he is fit.

Therefore Lennon should opt for either Balde or Stokes to spearhead the attack, either of these two will hold their position better and give those in the middle someone to supply passes to and play off.

Celtic have to find a way to penetrate the defensive lines Karagandy install.

Crosses from wide areas will also offer us goal threat, a recognised forward in the box will give those delivering more to aim for and it ensures that we have someone with a goalscorer instinct on the end of them.

Celtic should be patient, accept that Karagandy will look to frustrate and hold on to their lead. We have the quality throughout the side to score goals, we have to take our chances when they arise.

Celtic Park will be full, packed with anticipation and nervous energy. The fans will play their part, the players must respond.

 

@BradyTwinPart1

 

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