Celtic return from the international break looking to recover from their preceding slip-up against St Johnstone by getting back to winning ways with a victory over Hamilton.
Callum McGregor's late goal was all that prevented the reigning Scottish Premiership champions from defeat as they dropped points in the league for the first time.
With their Champions League group stage kicking off with a home tie against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Brendan Rodgers will be calling for a convincing, confidence-boosting performance when they visit New Douglas Park on Friday.
|Game||Hamilton vs Celtic|
|Date||Friday, September 8|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on BT Sport 1 and via online stream using the BT Sport app. International viewers can catch it on the Glasgow side's streaming service, Celtic TV.
|UK TV channel/online stream||International stream|
|BT Sport 1/BT Sport App||Celtic TV|
SQUAD & TEAM NEWS
|Defenders||Skondras, Tomas, Sarris, McMann, Gogic|
|Midfielders||Imrie, MacKinnon, Docherty, Crawford, Gillespie, Lyon, Donati, Hughes|
|Forwards||Templeton, Bingham, Boyd, Longridge|
Swansea loanee Botti Biabi is included in the squad and could make his debut for Hamilton. The 21-year-old striker returns to Scotland, having previously played for Falkirk, where he scored four goals in 32 games.
The home side have one long-term absentee in Michael Devlin, but Martin Canning has a full squad to choose from otherwise.
Potential Hamilton starting XI: Woods; Skondras, Tomas, Sarris, McMann; Imrie, MacKinnon, Docherty, Crawford; Boyd, Bingham.
|Goalkeepers||Gordon, De Vries|
|Defenders||Simunovic, Bitton, Tierney, Lustig, Ajer, Ralston, Miller, Gamboa|
|Midfielders||Brown, Sinclair, Armstrong, Hayes, Ntcham, Benyu, McGregor, Forrest, Henderson, Kouassie|
|Forwards||Rogic, Griffiths, Nesbitt, Miller, Aitchison, Cifti, Edouard, Roberts|
Star forward Moussa Dembele returned to training this week, but is not fit to play, while defender Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko, who looked close to a move away before the close of the transfer window, are also absent through injury. Jozo Simunovic could be kept out after being deprived of his Bosnia-Herzegovina debut against Gibraltar due to illness.
There were concerns surrounding Leigh Griffiths' fitness after he limped off of Scotland's World Cup qualifying win over Malta, but the striker assured he will be fit for Friday's game. With their Champions League group stage game against Paris Saint-Germain coming up, Rodgers could rest the 27-year-old who has already scored five for Celtic in all competitions this term.
Odsonne Edouard is included after completing a deadline day loan from PSG, while fan-favourite Patrick Roberts, brought back for a third spell from Manchester City, will be available.
Potential Celtic starting XI: Gordon; Ralston, Bitton, Lustig, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham, Forrest, Rogic, Sinclair; Griffiths.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Celtic are 2/9 favourites to win, according to dabblebet, with Hamilton priced at 10/1. A draw between the teams is available at 5/1.
Griffiths is favourite to score first at odds of 2/1 and newboy Edouard is 11/4.
Friday’s encounter marks Hamilton’s 4000th league match and the club will make their 1500th league victory a momentous one if they get three points from the reigning champions.
Since their 2-0 defeat to league leaders Aberdeen in the opening week, Hamilton have beaten Dundee and Hibernian and drawn with Kilmarnock, leaving them just three points behind Friday's visitors.
Celtic can jump into first place with a win before the Dons face Hearts on Sunday, but with players returning from international duty and the Champions League opener coming up, they may feel they have bigger things to think about.
With Edouard and Roberts available after their arrivals, though, Rodgers is confident he has a strong enough squad to get the win.
"We’re playing a day earlier and a lot of the players have been away so there’s a number of factors to think about when picking the team," Rodgers said on Friday, suggesting the starting XI could be missing a few key players.
“We want to ensure we’re winning as many games as we can in as many competitions as can. The league is our bread and butter.
"It’s very important for us and we’re focused on getting a result against Hamilton. This is what you’re in football for, we have a busy schedule between now and the Christmas period, but it’s what we want. It’s a really exciting time.
"It’s great to have Patrick back, a young player who is still developing in his game. The beauty with Patrick, having spent 18 months here, is that he knows what Celtic is about and he knows the pressure and the expectations.
"Odsonne is a young talent, one that excites me in terms of his development over the course of next season. He has a lot of qualities – he is fast, strong and powerful. If you look at the French national set-up from the Under-17s to the national team, the profiles of the players are pretty much the same."