Postecoglou could freshen up Celtic team for the visit of Aberdeen

The Celtic boss plans changes after the effort at Leverkusen.

Postecoglou could freshen up Celtic team for the visit of Aberdeen Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Postecoglou wants to keep momentum going.

Ange Postecoglou signalled he was ready to make changes to keep his Celtic team fresh for their return to league action.

Celtic were eight minutes away from recording a first victory on German soil on Thursday before a late collapse saw them suffer a 3-2 Europa League defeat against Bayer Leverkusen and drop into Europa Conference League.

The games are coming thick and fast for Celtic with two every week until the winter break in January and they host Aberdeen in the cinch Premiership on Sunday.

Postecoglou said on his club’s official website: “It’s a big match, it’s back into the league and it’s an important game at home back at Celtic Park so we want to keep the momentum going in the league.

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“Obviously after a big European night we just want to make sure the players recover well and we may have to make some changes to just make sure that the team is up and ready for it.”

As has become the norm in recent matches, Postecoglou swapped his front three in the final quarter, although James Forrest had come into the starting line-up for the sixth time this season following his Hampden winner against St Johnstone.

Liel Abada could return on the right wing for the visit of Aberdeen while fellow wide player Mikey Johnston is also pushing for a start after a consistent run of substitute appearances.

Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt are closing in on returns from hamstring injuries.

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Up front, Georgios Giakoumakis is struggling with a knee problem but Albian Ajeti looked lively when he came on in Germany and could offer some respite for talismanic striker Kyogo Furuhashi.

Outside the 90 minutes, Sunday will also be an important occasion as Celtic supporters gather in their home stadium for the first time since the death of Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld, an extremely popular figure around the club.

Fittingly, the visitors will be led out by Scott Brown, who will join his successor as Celtic captain, Callum McGregor, in delivering a pre-match tribute.

Postecoglou, who attended Auld’s funeral with his first-team squad on Friday, said: “It’s been a pretty emotional 10 days and we shouldn’t miss any opportunity to honour him and represent him in the best possible manner.

“The way we’ll do it as a team is to go out there and hopefully put on a performance that he would’ve smiled at.”