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Sport Elhamed or Bitton at the back? Does Edouard start? Celtic's predicted XI for the Europa League clash with Riga

19:25  23 september  2020
19:25  23 september  2020 Source:   readsport.co

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a person standing in front of a crowd: Celtic v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership © Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Sport Celtic v Livingston - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

A trip to Latvia is on the cards as the Hoops look to take one step closer to the Europa League group stages.

Thursday’s opponent are Riga, the reigning Latvian Higher League champions. They’ll no doubt be prepared to make the one-off tie as tough as possible for Neil Lennon’s men.

They sit four points clear at the top of the table after 19 games, losing just two so far.

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They advanced to the third qualifying round after edging out as 1-0 winners over San Marino outfit S.P. Tre Fiori.

Celtic’s path to this stage looks quite different, as we all know. They crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers, Hungarian’s Ferencvaros the side to inflict the 2-1 defeat in Glasgow.

This is the Scottish champions’ first European appearance since that lacklustre loss and they’ll be determined to right their wrongs.

We’re on a good domestic run, winning our last five league matches; though not all by a convincing margin. The question is: does Lennon stick with the three-at-the-back, or does he opt for a flat back four?

His team selection is likely to be one that can alter between the two formations throughout the match, so expect some surprises.

Here’s how we think the manager will have his side lined up on Thursday night.

Celtic fans desperate for Griffiths to net late winner against Rangers .
Leigh Griffiths marked his first appearance of the season with a crucial late strike against St Johnstone on Sunday, and some Hoops supporters are hoping the forward can pop up with another late goal against Rangers next weekend. The 30-year-old found space and converted Hatem Abd Elhamed’s pinpoint cross with a perfectly placed header at McDiarmid Park to seal an eighth straight win in all competitions for Neil Lennon’s side. Patryk Klimala doubled Celtic’s advantage in the final act of proceedings, but Griffiths’ cameo was the main talking point.

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