LINFIELD V CELTIC (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SECOND ROUND QUALIFIER FIRST LEG: FRIDAY 14TH JULY; 5:00PM)
Less than two months after Tom Rogic’s last minute winter clinched the Treble, the road to the Champions League begins with a trip to Belfast to take on Linfield.
Team Selection: You would think that Brendan Rodgers will stick with most of last season’s Invincibles, the only exceptions being Erik Sviatchenko replacing the injured Dedryck Boyata, and perhaps James Forrest replacing the departed Patrick Roberts. Jonny Hayes has received rave reviews from Brendan Rodgers since he joined Celtic so he may get a start, whist Tom Rogic might be on the bench as he played for Australia during the summer and hasn’t had much of a break. New signing Olivier Ntcham isn’t match fit so won’t be involved, whilst Scott Brown has declared himself fit to play and will be an important figure in the no doubt hostile atmosphere at Windsor Park.
Prediction: On paper, this should be fairly routine victory against a team who have no full-time players, but there are couple of things to take into account: the Lincoln Red Imps debacle of last season and, most importantly, the lack of Celtic fans at the game, as Celtic refused tickets. If Celtic manager to weather the early storm, we should record a comfortable win.
Linfield 0 Celtic 3