Hibs v Celtic: Match preview and probable line-ups

Oli Shaw scored the equaliser for Hibs last time they took on Celtic at Easter Road. Picture: SNS Group
Oli Shaw scored the equaliser for Hibs last time they took on Celtic at Easter Road. Picture: SNS Group
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Hibs host Celtic in tomorrow’s lunchtime kick-off, hoping to delay the Hoops’ title celebrations as well as gaining precious points in their pursuit of second spot.

Neil Lennon will be attempting to better his former side without the services of Scott Allan, who is ineligble to face his parent club while Marvin Bartley sits this one out after going through the disciplinary point limits.

As well as Bartley and Allan, Hibs are without goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw and on-loan defender Faycal Rherras, but David Gray and Brandon Barker could make their long-awaited returns to the matchday squad.

Cammy Bell is expected to return from injury after missing the 3-1 win over Hamilton last time out while Vykintas Slivka, who featured for the Under-20s midweek could make an appearance in the midfield.

Lennon is likely to select Ofir Marciano in goal, and in front of him a back three of Efe Ambrose, Darren McGregor - provided he recovers from a slight hamstring niggle - and Paul Hanlon; a five-man midfield consisting of wing-backs Martin Boyle and Lewis Stevenson with a midfield three of John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Steven Whittaker or Slivka, with Flo Kamberi and Jamie Maclaren up front.

Ryan Porteous could slot into the back three if McGregor doesn’t make it, while Oli Shaw picked up a knock while playing for the Under-20s but could still make the bench.

Celtic will win the title if they can defeat Hibs and Brendan Rodgers has a strong pool of players to choose from despite having four players on his injury list.

After his performance against Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-final, Craig Gordon will surely continue between the sticks for the Hoops, with Mikael Lustig, Kristoffer Ajer, Dedryck Boyata and Kieran Tierney making up the defence.

Oliver Ntcham and former Hibee Scott Brown will likely sit in front of the back four with an attacking midfield trio of Callum McGregor, Tom Rogic and James Forrest, and Moussa Dembele up front.

However, Rodgers could hand starts to Scott Sinclair, Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts who all made second half substitute appearances at Hampden.

It remains to be seen if on-loan Chelsea attacker Charly Musonda will be included in the matchday squad after the Belgian missed out against Rangers. Marvin Compper and Stuart Armstrong miss out along with Jonny Hayes and Nir Bitton.

Last five meetings: Celtic 1-0 Hibs; Hibs 2-2 Celtic; Celtic 4-2 Hibs; Celtic 2-2 Hibs; Hibs 0-4 Celtic.

Likely Hibs team (3-5-2): Marciano; Ambrose, McGregor, Hanlon; Boyle, McGeouch, Whittaker, McGinn, Stevenson; Kamberi, Maclaren. Subs from: Bell, Dabrowski, Gray, Porteous, Slivka, Barker, Murray, Swanson, Shaw.

Likely Celtic team (4-2-3-1) Gordon; Lustig, Ajer, Boyata, Tierney; Ntcham, Brown; Forrest, Rogic, McGregor; Dembele. Subs from: Bain, Simunovic, Hendry, Eboue, Roberts, Sinclair, Musonda, Edouard, Griffiths.

Referee: Willie Collum

Kick-off: 12.30pm

Odds: Hibs 11/2 Draw 16/5 Celtic 8/13 (odds correct at the time of writing)