Celtic team news: Predicted 4-2-3-1 line up vs St Johnstone – Two suspended, Elhamed debut | Football | Sport


Neil Lennon’s side begin the defence of their title with a clash against St Johnstone at Parkhead.

The Hoops head into the match in good form after securing their place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League thanks to a 7-0 aggregate win over Nomme Kalju.

However, Celtic are missing both Jozo Simunovic and Christopher Jullien for the meeting with St Johnstone due to suspension.

Simunovic will serve the first game of a two-match ban, having been sent off for violent conduct in a friendly draw against St Gallen in July.

Meanwhile, summer signing Jullien impressed against Nomme Kalju on Tuesday but is also ruled out of Premiership action after picking up too many cautions in Ligue 1 last season.

The Frenchman received a yellow card in Toulouse’ “meaningless” final league match which has carried over to his new club.

“I didn’t realise it would follow me to Scotland but I have to accept I will miss the St Johnstone game,” explained Jullien.

“I don’t even remember what the booking was for but I know the final game was meaningless so it’s sad.”

The suspensions mean Kristoffer Ajer and Nir Bitton will deputise in central defence, freeing up a spot at right-back for new signing Hatem And Elhamed to make his debut.

The defender completed pre-season with Hapoel Be’er Sheva before signing a four-year deal with Celtic and could be thrown straight into the action this weekend.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo will continue to feature at left-back in place of Kieran Tierney while Scott Brown and Callum McGregor will start in central midfield.

James Forrest, Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard were all rested for the clash with Nomme Kalju and should return while Mikey Johnston appears to be first-choice on the left flank.

Celtic predicted line-up vs St Johnstone – Scottish Premiership

(4-2-3-1) Bain; Elhamed, Ajer, Bitton, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Johnston; Edouard

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