Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes | Celtic manager Neil Lennon is expected to ring the changes ahead of the Betfred Cup Final against Rangers this afternoon .

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes

Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes
Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs Rangers – Lennon to make five changes
  • By: express.co.uk
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Celtic could make as many as five changes to their starting XI ahead of the Scottish League Cup Final against Rangers at Hampden Park. Manager Neil Lennon rotated his squad for the 2-1 win over Hamilton last time allowing, allowing his key men a welcome rest ahead of the showpiece event.

Celtic are hunting their 10th successive domestic trophy and head into the Old Firm clash in fine form, having lost just twice in 31 matches so far this season.

The Hoops have already secured progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League and sit two points clear of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

Lennon’s men now have a chance to boost their bragging rights with another victory over Gers, having lost just two of the last 16 matches against their famous rivals.

Top scorer Odsonne Edouard is expected to start after shrugging off injury, having missed Celtic’s past three games.

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Celtic team news predicted line up Rangers

Celtic team news: Neil Lennon is expected to make several changes against Rangers (Image: GETTY•buildlineup.com)

However, the Frenchman trained on Friday while Jonny Hayes, Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and Mohamed Elyounoussi have all been declared fit.

Speaking about Edouard in his pre-match press conference, Lennon said: "I think there's a very good chance he will start.

"He did a full session today and looks like he has come through it no problem. We've done pretty well in his absence, but there's no question we are a better team when he's fit and available.

"Odsonne and Jonny Hayes have been out for about two weeks, Boli and Elyounoussi has been a bit longer. But they are all in good condition."

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Greg Taylor is cup-tied so Bolingoli-Mbombo will return at left-back – despite having not played since the semi-final victory over Hibernian last month.

Meanwhile, Christopher Jullien is expected to replace Nir Bitton at centre-back and Kristoffer Ajer should line up alongside the Frenchman.

Youngster Jeremie Frimpong could get the nod ahead of Moritz Bauer on the right while Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are first-choice in central midfield.

Ryan Christie should move into a No 10 role if James Forrest switches back to his favoured right flank, meaning Olivier Ntcham will drop to the bench.

Celtic team news predicted line up Rangers

Celtic team news: Odsonne Edouard is expected to return after injury (Image: GETTY)

Mikey Johnston is in contention to return on the left wing but Mohamed Elyounoussi is most likely to start after recent fine form.

Lewis Morgan will drop out of the starting XI while Jozo Simumovic, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Daniel Arzani are all on the treatment table.

Brown scored an injury-time winner in midweek to stretch Celtic’s lead at the top of the league, and Lennon is keen to see the same level of performance this afternoon.

"It's just another game, with a trophy at the end of it," Lennon said.

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"You can see the players don't take it for granted.

"Semi-final performance, there was pressure going into that game against Hibs and they handled the occasion brilliantly, played fantastically well.

“If we can get to that level again I'll be delighted because it will take a good team to beat us."

The Scottish League Cup is the only domestic trophy Lennon is yet to win as Celtic manager, and their chances will be boosted if Rangers defender Borna Barisic fails to pass a late fitness test.

Celtic team news predicted line up Rangers

Celtic team news: Is this how the Hoops will line up against Rangers? (Image: buildlineup.com)

Celtic predicted line-up vs Rangers – Scottish League Cup Final

(4-2-3-1): Forster; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Bolingoli-Mbombo; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard

Man Utd star Fred's verdict on Man City racial abuse incident as he thanks Jesse Lingard

Man Utd star Fred's verdict on Man City racial abuse incident as he thanks Jesse Lingard

Manchester United ace Fred discussed the alleged racist abuse he suffered at the hands of Manchester City fans at the Etihad on Saturday. City confirmed they were working with police after United players alleged they were racially abused.

United came away with an impressive 2-1 win on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both found the net in the first-half before Nicolas Otamendi brought one back for the hosts with five minutes remaining.

United put in a sublime performance at the Etihad, as they secured their second win in four days.

They now have back-to-back wins over top-six sides, in a win which was detrimental to City’s title challenge.

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Man Utd

Fred was struck by a lighter while preparing to take a corner (Image: GETTY)

Unfortunately, however, the game was marred by allegations of racial abuse, as during the second-half, a City fan was filmed appearing to ‘perform monkey sounds and gestures’ at Fred as he prepared to take a corner.

Jesse Lingard was one of the United players who immediately went over to support his team-mate.

City confirmed they were co-operating with the police, and would ban any fan deemed to have meeted out racist abuse for life.

Speaking after the game, Fred admitted the incident had upset him, but refused to let it overshadow the win.

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“Unfortunately, we are still in a backward society,” Fred said. “[It is a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019.

“On the field, I didn't see anything. I saw it only in the locker room afterwards.

"The guys showed me. He even threw a lighter and it hit me. I try not to care about that. I try to look ahead.

"Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends.

Man Utd

Fred was preparing to take a corner when the alleged racial abuse occurred (Image: GETTY)
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“It's sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that.

“We can't give them any attention because that's all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that's all.

“We are all the same regardless of skin color, hair and gender. We came from the same place and we all go to the same place when it's all said and done.

“Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard. I don't want to think about it. I just want to move on."

Rangers team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Celtic – Barisic returns, midfield decision

Rangers team news: Predicted 4-3-3 line up vs Celtic – Barisic returns, midfield decision

Steven Gerrard is expected to make a couple of changes to his starting XI when Rangers take on Celtic in the Scottish League Cup Final. The Gers manager has an almost fully-fit squad to select from as he hunts for his first silverware since taking over at Ibrox.

Rangers had been waiting on the fitness of left-back Borna Barisic, with the Croatian missing the 2-2 draw with Aberdeen on Wednesday night due to a foot injury.

However, the 27-year-old trained on Friday and has been included in the squad to face Celtic at Hampden Park.

Barisic is expected to replace Jon Flanagan in the starting XI, although their are also doubts over Jordan Jones and Steven Davis.

The experienced Allan McGregor is a certain pick in goal while Gerrard is expected to opt for consistency in central defence despite recent shaky performances.

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Rangers team news predicted line up Celtic

Rangers team news: Steven Gerrard has an almost full-fit squad for the clash with Celtic (Image: GETTY•buildlineup.com)

That means Connor Goldson and Filip Helander will get the nod once again while James Tavernier will lead the side from right-back.

The Rangers captain this week hit back at recent criticism from former Celtic striker Chris Sutton, who branded Tavernier as a “serial loser”.

Speaking in a pre-match press conference, Tavernier said: "Comments from pundits are irrelevant.

"I am here to do a job, I'm here to win trophies. Previously we've not done that but I fully believe in this squad and what we're capable of doing.

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"We have to win games, we have to win trophies. All the boys who have signed here have come to win trophies. We're not here to be second best.

"It's a great occasion for the fans and we want to win it for the fans. We have to do everything in our hands and go out there on Sunday looking to bring back some silverware."

Ryan Jack is expected to line up in midfield while Davis should join the 27-year-old, if rumours of his fitness issues are inaccurate.

Glen Kamara could replace Joe Aribo, having been rested against Dons, while Ryan Kent will start on the left flank.

Rangers team news predicted line up Celtic

Rangers team news: Borna Barisic is expected to be passed fit for the Scottish League Cup Final (Image: GETTY)

Scott Arfield was on target in midweek and is expected to get the nod on the right flank with Gerrard relying on the Canadian’s experience.

Finally, Alfredo Morelos will lead the line and hopes to open his account against Celtic – having failed to score in 10 previous games against the Hoops.

Jermain Defoe provides back-up off the bench while Greg Stewart, Sheyi Ojo and Andy Halliday will all be looking to feature in some capacity.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash, Gerrard says victory over their great rivals will give Rangers a huge lift ahead of a crucial second half of the season.

Gers can qualify for the knock-out stages of the Europa League next week while they are currently two points behind Celtic in the Scottish Premiership title race.

"It's not about me and the trophies I've won during my career. This is about Rangers, the team and the players, and us having or giving ourselves the opportunity to win our first trophy together,” said Gerrard.

"The players deserve a certain level of credit for that, but now it's about going and getting over the final hurdle, which will be the most difficult I'm sure. If we manage to do it, it will be a huge lift, most importantly for the supporters and the club.

"We've become better and we're now competitive; we've shown on the European stage against high-level opposition that we can compete and win. Domestically, I think there's more respect for Rangers now. Sunday gives us another chance to go and grab something."

Rangers team news predicted line up Celtic

Rangers team news: Is this how the Gers will line up against Celtic? (Image: buildlineup.com)

Rangers predicted line-up vs Celtic – Scottish League Cup final

(4-3-3): McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic; Jack, Davis, Kamara; Arfield, Kent, Morelos

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Freddie Ljungberg faces the axe at Arsenal as players refuse to back caretaker boss

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe as the team’s stars refuse to back him shortly after he replaced Unai Emery on a trial basis. According to the Daily Star, players have been refusing to speak publicly about the situation in the dugout for two weeks and it is currently unclear whether they have faith in Ljungberg, who could be facing the sack if the Gunners lose to West Ham on Monday.

We need to dig out a win to get some confidence

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg

The Swedish coach has been struggling to pick up a win in charge of the north Londoners following a 2-2 draw with Norwich, who are facing a relegation struggle, and a miserable 2-1 loss to Brighton at the Emirates where the players got booed off by the home fans.

Arsenal’s winless streak has been stretched to 11 games in all competitions - the club’s worst run since 1977 - and has seen the team slump to 10th place in the Premier League table.

Ljungberg understands the urgency of the situation and that is why he let rip rip at his players during half-time against Brighton on Thursday as he told them: “This is not Arsenal”.

The club legend, though, is confident that a win would raise morale to such an extent that the Premier League giants could be able to produce a comeback.

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Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is facing the axe (Image: GETTY)

Ljungberg said: “We need to dig out a win to get some confidence.

“It’s obvious the nerves in the crowd affect the players. They are human beings, they want to do well and they feel pressure.

“But we need a win and we showed in the second half we can get one.”

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Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is in the running for the permanent job

Arsenal caretaker boss Freddie Ljungberg is in the running for the permanent job (Image: GETTY)

Ljungberg is in the running for the full-time job on the Arsenal hot seat but the board is still rigorously looking for another permanent manager.

They now have less options after Brendan Rodgers signed a new five-and-half-year deal that doubled his wages to an eye watering £10million a year at Leicester.

Other candidates include former Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, Manchester City assistant Mikel Arteta, ex-Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez.

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira also poses as a likely choice but the Nice manager has refused to address the rumours.

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Vieira said: “I have no comment to make on that, honestly.

“With all the respect I can have, I am not going to respond to that.

“I'm concentrated 100 per cent on what I have to do here.”

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