in #KillieStories October 27, 2017
Kilmarnock will be the latest team to try and end Celtic’s long domestic unbeaten run when we travel to Celtic Park this weekend.
Celtic are aiming to equal their record run set in 1917, which came to an end thanks to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Killie. Will history repeat itself?
Celtic remain undefeated in 61 domestic matches under Brendan Rodgers since the Northern Irishman replaced Ronny Deila.The reigning champions head into the match after a comprehensive 3-0 win over closest challengers Aberdeen.
Moussa Dembele scored twice while Kieran Tierney grabbed the opener.
In the league, Celtic have 151 wins to Kilmarnock’s 27 with 45 draws between the teams.
Our last trip to Glasgow’s east end was a painful experience with a 5-0 loss in the League Cup.
Goals from James Forrest and Callum McGregor saw the Hoops run out 2-0 victors in the first Premiership meeting this season at Rugby Park.
After claiming the domestic treble it has been a case of tweaking rather than wholesale changes during the summer.
Brendan Rodgers made five additions including two loan signings over the close season with Patrick Roberts returning for a second spell while Odsonne Edouard joined from PSG.
Olivier Ntcham was the big arrival, sealing a £4.5m transfer from Manchester City while one of the Premiership’s standout performers Jonny Hayes arrived from Aberdeen.
Kundai Benyu has played against Killie twice after impressing Rodgers following his move from Ipswich Town.
Brendan Rodgers favours a 4-2-3-1 formation, which often becomes a 4-3-3 when Celtic are in possession.
Captain Scott Brown remains the beating heart of the side in the centre of the pitch alongside fellow Scotland international Stuart Armstrong.
They provide the ammunition for the attacking trio Scott Sinclair, Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts. James Forrest and Calum McGregor are able alternatives with Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele leading the line.
Kieran Tierney and Mikael Lustig operate as attacking full-backs, providing additional width to support Sinclair and Roberts.
Most of Celtic’s rotation has revolved around the centre back position with Jozo Simunovic, Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko all suffering from injuries this term. This has led to Nir Bitton operating as a makeshift defender in both the Premiership and the Champions League.
Kristoffer Ajer, who enjoyed a successful loan spell with Killie last term, has also continued his development since his summer return to Glasgow.
Brendan Rodgers said: "Steve’s a good man. He did exceptionally well at West Brom and at Reading.
"They couldn’t have brought anyone better in than Steve with his experience and his qualities. I look forward to seeing him tomorrow.
"They’ll be organised. He always has his teams super organised, compact and difficult to break down.
"They’ve had the confidence winning against Partick and a good result at Ibrox. We expect a tough game."
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