Date: 17th October 2020 at 10:00am
Written by: Peter Graham

Neil Lennon will be glad to see the back of the international break, as will Celtic fans in general, with his team selection for Saturday’s derby made a whole lot easier as a result.

We won’t know until the day of the game but there will be at least four first team regulars missing from the match day squad, all players that are capable of contributing.

James Forrest is out for the foreseeable with a stress fracture in his ankle, whilst Nir Bitton, Hatem Abd Elhamed and Ryan Christie are all having to self isolate.

The good news is Leigh Griffiths, Albian Ajeti and Christopher Jullien are all fit and available again and Odsonne Edouard, although he has been in isolation, can be selected and won’t have any injuries from representing his country.

The gaffer can still name a pretty strong team – certainly one that should be more than capable of getting all three points – and this is the one I’d go with.

I’d give Greg Taylor the nod over Diego Laxalt, he’s played more games recently and knows the opposition well, he’s also performed better than he has been given credit for with four assists in 12 appearances.

The midfield almost picks itself, but if Edouard isn’t fit enough to start – he should be – then David Turnbull could come in with Olivier Ntcham pushed further forwards, or Moi Elyounoussi could come in to partner his former Basel teammate Ajeti up front.

What's the result?

Celtic win

Celtic win

Draw

Draw

Rangers win

Rangers win

As I said before, the squad may be weaker but there are still plenty of options available for Lennon, particularly in midfield and the attack, with players on the bench like Griff and Elyounoussi that will cause problems when they come on.

It won’t be an easy three points, but the resilience of this side and the clinical nature of the forward line is something that Rangers haven’t faced this season, as with the first game last season, we all saw what happened when they turned up expecting to win.