A TRIP to Tynecastle to face Hearts followed by Dundee United at home and Rangers at Parkhead within the next seven days will give the biggest indication yet of Celtic's title credentials.

Manager Ange Postecoglou is, as usual, facing a team selection dilemma due to availability issues.

On this occasion there is not only the injury woes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor, David Turnbull and Yosuke Ideguchi to consider but also the international commitments of Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda.

Will a depleted midfield lead to a debut for new signing Matt O'Riley? Will Giorgos Giakoumakis lead the line from the start again after netting against Alloa Athletic in the cup? What about James Forrest, is there room for the veteran to return to the starting XI?

Our writers make their predictions...

Alison McConnell

The preparations for the game at Tynecastle have been marred by yet another batch of fresh injury worries; the story of the season for Ange Postecoglou.

The Celtic manager is also hindered by the loss of the influential Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda, both of whom have been called up for international duty.

The likelihood is that Nir Bitton will be asked to deputise for Callum McGregor who looks set now for a lengthy spell in the treatment room after what appeared to be a fractured cheekbone sustained in the bruising Scottish Cup win over Alloa Athletic.

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The loss of McGregor and Rogic, two of the midfield mainstays, may also mean a start for new signing Matt O’Riley who could go straight into the Tynecastle starting line-up. Whoever starts, it is not a game where Celtic can afford to slip.

Alison's team: Hart; Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor; Bitton, Hatate, O'Riley; Forrest, Giakoumakis, Jota

Sean Martin

Unlike the Scottish Cup game last time out, this team selection focuses not on rotation but availability.

The absences of Tom Rogic, David Turnbull, Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor rob Ange Postecoglou of his main creative force, chief set-piece taker, top scorer and captain, so plugging those gaps and maintaining the team's style is the first true test of the squad's additional depth.

There is a chance the manager changes shape to a back three or utilises Josip Juranovic in the midfield but I think he'll opt for as close to like-for-like in the 4-3-3 as he can and that means Nir Bitton at the base with Reo Hatate as the 8 and a perhaps earlier-than-expected full debut for Matt O'Riley as the Rogic replacement.

Celtic Way:

Up top, there is the benefit of Jota's surely imminent starting XI return while both Giorgos Giakoumakis and Liel Abada found the net against Alloa and a fit-again James Forrest ensures Postecoglou can choose a formidable ensemble even without Kyogo and Daizen Maeda.

While the middle and final thirds have personnel issues, the good news is the first third is well-stocked with first-choice players which should provide a solid platform for the rest of the side.

Sean's team: Hart; Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor; Bitton, Hatate, O'Riley; Forrest, Giakoumakis, Jota

Tony Haggerty

Ange Postecoglou must wonder what he has done to incur so many injuries to key first-team personnel. However, he hasn't offered or looked for any excuses. His Celtic side has shown resilience at various junctures already.

Postecoglou will be without the services of Callum McGregor, Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, Tom Rogic and David Turnbull due to injury and international duty. It's microcosmic of the season but Celtic will have to dig deep if they are to emerge with all three points from the capital.

The 56-year-old will stick to the same back four that has served him well in recent weeks but I expect a return for Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton to occupy the holding role. He will be ably assisted by Reo Hatate and recent new signing from MK Dons Matt O'Riley, who faces the ultimate baptism of fire in the bear pit of Gorgie.

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Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis will have the chance to become an instant striking hero should he produce the goods in the next three games. The time has come for the Greek to bear gifts - the gift of goals for his team.

Jota, fresh from his runout against Alloa, and Liel Abada will provide the width on either side of Giakoumakis.

Tony's team: Hart; Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor; Bitton, Hatate, O'Riley; Jota, Giakoumakis, Abada