Celtic v Partick: Three key players out, Jozo Simunovic to return

Glasgow Celtic will host Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup fifth round at Parkhead on Saturday and Brendan Rodgers has stated he will be putting his strongest team on the field.

The Bhoys have defeated their city rivals three times so far this season, with all three victories coming in the Scottish Premiership, however, they were rocked last weekend with a 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock.

Rodgers will be looking for an instant reaction from his Celtic side as they look to continue their march towards another domestic treble, however, he knows of the challenge that Thistle provide.

“They’ve always been a difficult team to face in my time up here,” he told the club’s official website.

“We played them a few weeks back so we know their threat and the qualities they have. We’re never complacent with any game we play, particularly against a Partick team that will be looking to bounce back after the result in midweek.”

Celtic have a midweek game against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa League knockout stages next Thursday, however, Rodgers is preparing for the task at hand and is not prepared to risk complacency from slipping in.

“We want to put a strong team out and I’m always confident that whatever team I put out will get the result,” he added.

“There isn’t any rotation we need to think about. It’s just about picking the team to win the game.”

Celtic will look to progress to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup without Dedryck Boyata as he remains out, whilst Jack Hendry is ineligible for the clash.

Jozo Simunovic should return to the team after he sat out the shock defeat last weekend, however, Marvin Compper remains absent for the Hoops.

Kristoffer Ajer is a doubt after he limped off in the game at Rugby Park, whilst Charly Musonda will be looking to make his first home start for his new club.

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Donald Stephen

Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on - Facebook and Twitter