Celtic face an incredibly tough test tonight with Ange Postecoglou’s Hoops coming up against one of the best sides on the globe.
Indeed, the Bhoys travel to Spain to play 14-time winners of the Champions League, Real Madrid, in what is now a dead-rubber tie.
Celtic are out of the competition and have nothing but pride at stake in their sternest challenge of the campaign to date.
Without anything on the line, it will be interesting to see what happens with Postecoglou’s starting XI. Will he favour a degree of rotation or will he still opt for a full-strength team?
Here is the starting XI that Football FanCast are predicting for tonight’s encounter…
Hart, Juranovic, Starfelt, Jenz, Taylor, O’Riley, Mooy, Hatate, Abada, Kyogo, Jota (4-3-3).
We are anticipating four changes from the team that defeated Livingston last weekend with the Australian coach favouring change in defence and attack.
The midfield will remain the same but Postecoglou has been dealt a blow to his backline with Cameron Carter-Vickers not travelling to Madrid. Carl Starfelt, who has had a two-month layoff due to a knee injury, is among the squad and could replace the American at centre-back.
Anthony Ralston, whose performances over the last year have seen him dubbed a “superman“, drops out in favour of Croatian full-back Josip Juranovic who has started every Champions League match this term.
In attack, James Forrest is given a rest with pace and energy set to be favoured. Celtic will need to be good on the break if they are to get anything from the game so the “unbelievable” Jota – in the words of his manager – comes back into the team after scoring against Livingston.
Liel Abada also replaces Sead Haksabanovic who had a rather quiet outing at the Tony Macaroni Arena last time out.
David Turnbull could come into the starting XI as well but we anticipate that the boss will opt for the more defensive Aaron Mooy who will start next to Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley.