Brendan Rodgers has baffled the Red Imps, and the Celtic fans alike, with a bizarre team selection tonight and a formation which either has one central defender (Sviatchenko), or which plays someone absolutely out of position.
Before this game Rodgers said this was not the time for experimenting; well playing either Kieran Tierney at central defence (3-5-2) or a midfield (4-4-2) at the back is definitely experimenting. This is the oddest line-up I’ve seen from a Celtic boss in years; it’s also the most attacking.
Stuart Armstrong plays in the midfield. So does Patrick Roberts. He’s going with Dembele and Griffiths upfront. But there is no place in the starting eleven for Ryan Christie. Instead, the manager has gone with James Forrest, a move which is, in its own way, baffling. I would have thought the player was on his way out.
This is an odd one alright.
The thing is, I can see it paying off.
If, as looks likely, this is a 3 at the back system he wants goals, and lots of them. If it’s four at the back it will most likely have Brown at right back with Lustig in the middle. Either way, I won’t complain much except for the inclusion of Forrest at the expense of young Christie, something that should never happen.
That lesson has been learned well. Neither does Nir Bitton, and unless he’s carrying a knock that ought to be read as highly significant.
This highly unusual starting lineup is as follows: Gordon; Lustig, Sviatchenko, Tierney; Roberts, Brown, McGregor, Armstrong, Forrest; Dembele, Griffiths.
The substitutes are: Fasan, Izaguirre, Christie, Rogic, Janko, Ajer, Ciftci.
Let’s see how this one plays out.