Predicted XI - How Celtic could line up against Shakhtar Donetsk in Champions League on Matchday 2
The Hoops must stand up to the challenge posed by the Ukrainian champions in Warsaw.
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Celtic are in Poland ahead of this evening UEFA Champions League encounter with Shakhtar Donetsk knowng they must avoid defeat in order not to leave their hopes of qualifcation from Group F hanging by a thread.
The Hoops earned plaudits for their performance after taking the game to Real Madrid last week before eventually losing out 3-0 to the reigning European holders at Parkhead.
In contrast, their opponents in Warsaw tonight dismantled RB Leipzig 4-1 in Germany to demonstrate the threat they still possess, despite losing several key players due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
That result has blown the race for a runners-up spot in the group wide open.
Six points from their opening two games would represent a massive deficit for Celtic to make up on Shakhtar and Ange Postecoglou’s side must produce a performance away from home to prove they are genuine contenders to reach the last-16 of the competition.
Here, GlasgowWorld predicts how Celtic will line up against the Ukrainian champions tonight:
Postecoglou is demanding a reaction from his players after slumping to defeat against Real Madrid and given just how much is at stake in the Polish capital, the 57-year-old will know anything less than a positive result, even at this early stage, would be a major setback.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Australian said: “Every game in the Champions League will be tough and every opposition will give us different challenges and whatever is out there we need to be ready to face them.
“As I said after the Real Madrid game, I was a bit frustrated and disappointed because it’s not just playing our football for a certain amount of time.
“In the context of who we were playing against - one of, if not the best, in the world - for us to match them by playing our football was encouraging, but I didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t continue beyond the time it did.
“We could have been more competitive for longer in that game but that’s the level we’re at and that’s what you’ve got to do. Sixty minutes is never enough at this level. You have to see the game out and be resilient when you need to.”
Celtic are likely to continue in a 4-3-3 formation, as they did against Carlo Ancelotti’s Galacticos and it’s unlikely Postecoglou will tinker too much with a winning formula.
JOE HART: (GK) - The experienced shot-stopper is a stick on to retain his place between the posts.
JOSIP JURANOVIC: (RB) - The Croatian is seemingly the favoured option to start at right-back ahead of Anthony Ralston at present.
CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS: (CB) - One of the first names on the teamsheet. Will look to ensure the Ukrainians threat is minimal.
MORITZ JENZ: (CB) - The German loanee will keep his place in the side due to Carl Starfelt’s ongoing injury problem. Performed well against Madrid.
GREG TAYLOR: (LB) - Another player nailed on to start this match. Called up to the Scotland squad yesterday as a reward for his impressive displays so far this season.
CALLUM McGREGOR: (CDM) - The skipper is often used as a single pivot in midfield but has occasionally featured in a more advanced role. Another big shift required.
REO HATATE: (CM) - Impressive during the first-half against Madrid and will look to pose Shakhtar problems with his clever movement and passing ability.
MATT O’RILEY: (CM) - Celtic’s best performer last week and the roaming midfielder is expected to put on another tireless performance.
JOTA: (LW) - The Portuguese winger has been a joy to watch again during the early part of the season and has the undoubted ability to carry a serious goal threat.
KYOGO FURUHASHI: (CF) - Expected to be welcomed back into the starting fold with open arms as Celtic look to re-discover their clinical edge in front of goal once again.
DAIZEN MAEDA: (RW) - His work-rate off the ball could prove to be invaluable in this game. Came off the bench to replace Liel Abada last week and favoured to start here.
On the bench: Siegrist (GK), Giakoumakis, Haksabanovic, Abada, Mooy, Turnbull, Bernabei, Forrest, Ralston