Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops are battling an injury crisis as they welcome the Hibees to Glasgow’s east end
Celtic play host to Hibs in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday with the aim of maintaining their perfect start to 2019.
Five wins from five matches in all competitions since the turn of the year have pushed Brendan Rodgers’ side into a healthy six-point lead over Rangers at the summit of the table, but they will have to fight crippling injury problems ahead of this encounter.
Hibs, meanwhile, do not have their problems to seek after the controversial and mysterious departure of manager Neil Lennon following a poor run of form that may see them miss out on the top six.
Since he left, they have overcome St Mirren but lost to Aberdeen, and they face another major test at Celtic Park.
|Game||Celtic vs Hibernian|
|Date||Wednesday, February 6|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 12:45am ET|
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed on Hibs TV or Celtic TV.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Hibs TV / Celtic TV|
In the UK, the game will not be broadcast or streamed.
|UK TV channel||Online
|Goalkeepers||Gordon, Bain, De Vries|
|Defenders||Gutman, Simunovic, Hendry,
|Midfielders||Bitton, Allan, Benyu, Christie, Hayes, Sinclair, McGregor, Brown|
|Forwards||Johnston, Burke, Weah|
Celtic have immense injury problems heading into the midweek match, notably in their defence. Kieran Tierney, Dedryck Boyata, Anthony Ralston and Filip Benkovic have all been ruled out, while a red card at the weekend means that Kristoffer Ajer cannot play.
James Forrest picked up a problem at the weekend that will rule him out, while Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham are other notable players in that sector still missing.
In attack, Leigh Griffiths and
Capping off Brendan Rodgers’ problems are significant doubts over both Mikael Lustig and
The only positive news is that Ryan Christie has been cleared to play after coming off with a bump at the weekend.
Possible Celtic starting XI: Bain; Toljan, Simunovic, Bitton, Izaguirre; Brown, McGregor; Burke, Christie, Sinclair; Weah
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|Defenders||Hanlon, McGregor, Nelom, Stevenson, Whittaker, Gray, Mackie, Johnson|
|Midfielders||Milligan, Bartley, Omeonga, Slivka, Mallan, Horgan, Murray, Bigirimana, Gauld|
|Forwards||Agyepong, Kamberi, Shaw, McNulty|
Hibs go into this encounter without striker Martin Boyle, while Thomas Agyepong and Ryan Porteous will miss out too.
Steven Whittaker will likely miss out after failing to appear at the weekend.
After controversially dropping Ryan Gauld at the weekend, interim boss Eddie May has a big call to make over the on-loan Sporting CP player’s status in this match.
Possible Hibernian starting XI: Marciano; Gray, McGregor, Hanlon, Stevenson; Bartley; Slivka, Gauld, Mallan; Shaw, Kamberi
Celtic are strong favourites to come out on top at home, with bet365 offering odds of 3/10 on a Bhoys victory. Hibs are considered a 9/1 bet to win, while a draw is 4/1.
Click here to see more offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more
Celtic are set to miss up to 14 players for their midweek encounter with Hibs but the Scottish Premiership leaders remain confident that they can deal with an astonishing rash of problems.
The Hoops have won all five of their competitive fixtures since the turn of the year and are set to display their enviable depth at Parkhead against managerless opponents.
Speaking ahead of the clash, assistant manager Chris Davies insisted that the selection crisis will not be used as an excuse if there are any slips.
“It’s rare to have
“We have to just, as always, focus on ourselves, focus on our game, bring our intensity, our quality and we should get the win.
“We showed that against St Johnstone [in a 2-0 Sunday win]. We could put a team out that’s going to be a good team, a very good team of quality players and we’ll be able to
“I certainly wouldn’t underestimate Hibernian.”
Since the trip to Perth, the headaches for Davis and manager Brendan Rodgers have grown more acute, with Ryan Christie, Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and Mikael Lustig all sustaining knocks in that encounter.
But they tackle opponents in the midst of a crisis of their own, with no permanent manager and struggling to find any kind of form, despite an apparently capable squad.
Former Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom is apparently leading the chase to take over from Neil Lennon, with the team
“I wouldn’t say confidence is low,” caretaker boss Eddie May said after that loss. “Goals change games. The two goals we’ve lost, we could’ve done a little bit better.”
Hibs have troubled Celtic with their swashbuckling approach to this fixture in recent years, but the Edinburgh club