Predicted XI - How Celtic could line up against Real Madrid in Champions League on Matchday 1
Ange Postecoglou has some big decision to make, particularly in attack against the Spanish giants at Parkhead.
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The Hoops will face RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in Group F but an enormous challenge awaits Ange Postecoglou and his players in their opening game against last season’s winners Real Madrid.
The reigning La Liga champions, who beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final back in May, will be greeted at Parkhead this evening by a cauldron of noise and a massive tifo display from the Green Brigade.
Here, GlasgowWorld predicts how Celtic will line up against the European champions tonight:
Postecoglou vowed to take the game to Carlo Ancelotti’s side yesterday as he played down the risk attached to his usual attacking style of play against one of the biggest club’s in world football.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Australian said: “Any system you play, any approach you take, there’s inherent risk. But, sometimes, the greater the risk, the greater the opportunity.
“Because we’re trying to do things a little bit differently. We don’t want to be like every other team. With that, there’s always the possibility that you’ll stumble.
“That’s fine. I’ve stumbled in the past. The important thing is you dust yourself off, work at it again and get a bit closer next time. It’s not about being confident of winning.
“All we can do it control our performance. Every game we play, we try and play the game a certaint way and be the best we can be. That’s what we’ve done in every game so far, it’s what we did last year and it’s what we’ll try and do (tonight).
“We’ll try and play our football, be the best team we can be and the end result is often a consequence of strong performance. There’s no point in us thinking about winning, losing or any other result.
“The first thing we want to do is make sure we perform, because we’re playing against a top football team with fantastic players and a brilliant manager.
“You want to do is go out there and offer the best of ourselves. There’s no point playing football a certain way and then, when you get the opportunity to measure it against the best, you shy away from it.”
With that in mind, Celtic are likely to continue in a 4-3-3 formation, as they did against Old Firm rivals Rangers at the weekend.
JOE HART: (GK) - The undoubted first-choice goalkeeper who has a wealth of experience of playing on the European stage.
JOSIP JURANOVIC: (RB) - The Croatian will look to break forward where possible after an effective showing against Rangers.
CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS: (CB) - A rock at the heart of the Hoops backline and looks set for an intriguing battle with Karim Benzema.
MORITZ JENZ: (CB) - The German loanee is likely to start in place of Carl Starfelt, who missed training yesterday after sustaing a knee injury on Saturday.
GREG TAYLOR: (LB) - One of Celtic’s best performers so far this season. Will keep his place at left-back.
CALLUM McGREGOR: (CDM) - The skipper will turn his dream of facing Real Madrid into a reality as he prepares to lead his team mates out.
REO HATATE: (CM) - Continues to form a strong partnership alongside O’Riley and the Japanese midfielder is expected to start.
MATT O’RILEY: (CM) - A rolls royce of a player who was arguable Celtic’s standout performer against Rangers
JOTA: (LW) - Should return to his favoured position on the left-hand side after starting on the right against Rangers.
DAIZEN MAEDA: (RW) - Could be given the nod over the in-form Abada due to his pace and defensive work, which could be important against Real Madrid.
GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS: (CF) - Big decision is who will start up front? The powerful Greek striker appeals given his physical presence and could be set for a battle with Antonio Rudiger.
On the bench: Siegrist (GK), Furuhashi, Haksabanovic, Abada, Mooy, Turnbull, Abildgaard, Forrest, Ralston