So today’s team has been announced, and it’s pretty much the one we’d have wanted except that Laxalt is out and Taylor is in.
Oddly enough, this bears a striking resemblance to a team line which was leaked last night.
If it turns out that Laxalt is injured and the decision to play Taylor is of recent vintage, then I’d say we’ve not yet plugged that leak.
Still it’s a good side. It’s the midfield grouping we’d have wanted, except that McGregor continues to play every damned week, which is bothersome.
But Christie and Brown have to settle for places on the bench.
The formation … well it looks like a 4-2-3-1 … so we’re back to one up front with Elyounoussi on one wing and Frimpong on the other, Ajer at right back and Taylor on the left.
The bench is interesting too; Mikey Johnston and Griffiths are there along with Klimala and Ajeti, Rogic and Brown, Christie and Laxalt. Barkas makes the bench as well, as young Hazard keeps his place in the starting eleven.
I mean, it’s close to what we wanted but there are a couple of elements which aren’t quite what we’d have hoped for … one up front when we have three strikers on the bench is a hard one to take.
There is no central defensive cover amongst the subs at all … that’s worrying if we get an injury in the game.
The problem there, of course, is that we have no right sided midfielder and now no backup right back either; Frimpong is playing as a winger today and so Ajer needs to get moved. When you look at it, there are a few gaping holes in that team.
Regardless, Soro starts. Edouard starts. Turnbull starts. The kid Hazard starts. Taylor starts. I reckon the midfield has more energy in it than it’s had in months and that can only be good news. Gaping holes aside and one up front, they are minor quibbles next to seeing the two guys in the centre of the park who we wanted to see there.
See you guys on the other side.
CELTIC: Hazard; Ajer, Jullien, Duffy, Taylor; Frimpong, Soro, McGregor, Turnbull; Elyounoussi, Edouard
SUBS: Barkas, Brown, Griffiths, Ajeti, Klimala, Christie, Rogic, Johnston, Laxalt