Christie axed, 18 y/o given first start in 5 changes: Predicted Celtic XI v Rangers – opinion

Christie axed, 18 y/o given first start in 5 changes: Predicted Celtic XI v Rangers – opinion

It’s not often that Celtic go into an Old Firm derby as underdogs. Unfortunately for the Hoops, that has been the sorry story of their season to date.

They haven’t beaten their fiercest rivals all season but it’s not results in those games that have decided the Bhoys’ fate.

After all, heading into the derby this lunchtime, Celtic are a whopping 20 points off top spot after surrendering their grasp on the league title.

All they have left to play for on Sunday will be stopping the Gers from going through an entire season unbeaten. No pressure then, John Kennedy.

Another rather disappointing result engulfed his players last time out as they drew 1-1 with Aberdeen courtesy of a late goal from Leigh Griffiths.

With that game in mind, surely changes will be made on Sunday? Here’s our predicted XI to face Rangers…

We’re tipping Kennedy to make as many as five changes for the Old Firm today.

Two of the replacements come in defence where Kristoffer Ajer slots back in ahead of Nir Bitton. The Norwegian was injured last time out but returns to the fold in place of the Israeli centre-back.

Another change is at right-back where Jonjoe Kenny is axed from the side. He has endured two successive nightmare performances in the Old Firm now and thus, Anthony Ralston is handed just his second start of the campaign.

There are two further amendments in attack where it’s all change on the flanks.

With James Forrest fit again Ryan Christie drops out on the wing while 18-year-old Karamoko Dembele earns his first-ever Hoops start on the right with Moi Elyounoussi missing out on this occasion.

Elyounoussi is due to head back to Southampton in a matter of weeks and with nothing left to play for, Kennedy may as well hand an opportunity to one of the club’s most vibrant young talents instead.

The final replacement comes up top where Odsonne Edouard is given a blow. The Frenchman looks a shadow of his former self right now so Griffiths is handed a chance to cash in on the goal he scored against Aberdeen.

AND in other news, Imagine him & Forrest: Celtic must unleash rarely-seen 18 y/o today, he’s “special”…