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Team News: Bernabei returns to favour as Rodgers sticks with side that beat Ross County

Alexandro Bernabei is back on the bench today as Brendan Rodgers names an unchanged Starting XI for the match at Aberdeen.

The defender was dropped out of the matchday squad for the SPFL opener at home to Ross County after missing a team meeting.

Rodgers is very supportive of players but they have to buy in if they want the benefits of working with an elite level manager.

Bernabei, Stephen Welsh and Sead Haksabanovic are on the bench replacing Carl Starfelt, Oh Hyeon-gyu and Kwon Hyeok-kyu  with Reo Hatate remaining on the bench after last week’s midfield provided three of the four opening day goals.

Celtic have won by a single goal in their last three trips to Pittodrie, in December the returning Callum McGregor was the matchwinner with an 87th minute goal that started the demise of Jim Goodwin after a highly cautious display infuriated Dons supporters.

Barry Robson took his side twice to Celtic Park, losing 4-0 and 5-0 but a repeat of those sort of scorelines looks unlikely.

St Mirren’s 2-1 win over Dundee yesterday puts the Paisley side into top place but a win for Celtic today would put them ahead on goal difference.

CELTIC: Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Nawrocki, Taylor; McGregor, Turnbull, O’Riley; Abada, Kyogo, Maeda

SUBS Bain, Haksabanovic, Yang, Holm, Iwata, Bernabei, Hatate, Forrest, Welsh

Last week Aberdeen started their SPFL campaign with a 0-0 draw away to Livingston with very few bursts of football breaking out on the plastic pitch.

Thanks to last season’s third place finish the Dons are guaranteed group stage European football with the Europa League Play off draw being kind with either Zalgiris Vilnius or Hacken to be faced.

Success at that stage will see Aberdeen go into the group stage of the Europa League with the consolation of Conference League group place for the losers.

Kevin Clancy will referee today’s match, last season he took charge of five matches involving Ange Postecoglou’s side, sending off Turnbull at home to St Johnstone and Maeda away to Hibs in Celtic’s last away match.


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