Celtic vs. Hearts: Starting XI’s and Analysis

Last time out Celtic were challenged by St. Johnstone, putting up a 1-0 win to keep the unbeaten run in Scottish competition alive. It took a late header from Dedryck Boyata to make it happen, and today the Bhoys take on an even more dangerous side.

Hearts sit fourth in the Scottish Premiership table on 31 points, but have been active participants in the January transfer window hoping to make a push for a top two position by the end of the season.

It certainly will be a different challenge at Paradise for the Hoops on Sunday afternoon. Let’s see how Brendan Rodgers wants to line his side up.

Celtic Starting XI:

Hearts Starting XI:

Analysis:

Interestingly enough, this side is virtually unchanged from the one we saw that the mid-week. Dedryck Boyata’s impressive performance has earned him another start alongside Jozo Simunovic on the backline for Celtic.

The only change to the Starting XI is the switch of Patrick Roberts in and no Moussa Dembele up top. Rodgers has left both Dembele and Leigh Griffiths off the team sheet completely for this matchup. Should the Bhoys look for offensive firepower off the bench it will be in the form of Jack Aitchison.

Filling in the starting role up top will be Scott Sinclair, which is a role we have seen before in an emergency situation with both Dembele and Griffiths down with injury. However, that isn’t the case in this matchup, as Dembele should be just fine physically. He has struggled to gain any form upon return from winter break, so giving him a rest to get things right mentally may be the smart move for Rodgers to make.

Interestingly enough, new signee Kouassi Eboué still hasn’t seen his name on the team sheet after a full week training with the club. We’ll continue to keep an eye on that and in this matchup we’ll keep a keen eye on any changes made to the midfield given the bench of Mackay-Steven, Henderson and McGregor as options.

On the flip side, Hearts have put both of their new signings immediately on the team sheet. Both Dylan Bikey and Moha El Ouriachi Choulay are in the 18-man squad for the visitors today.

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Hearts are of course captained by American Perry Kitchen, who has taken well to Scottish football since arriving a season ago.