Celtic will make their first defence of their Scottish Cup trophy on Sunday, as Highland League side Buckie Thistle travel to Glasgow to face the holders at Celtic Park.

Four divisions separate the two sides facing off against each other at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon, but Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will be eager to put on a show for the supports attending the first home match of 2024.

This will be Buckie Thistle's fourth game in the Scottish Cup this season, after defeating Tayport, Forres Mechanics and Broxburn Athletic to get to this stage of the competition. For Celtic, they will be hoping to do better than their last cup performance, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in the League Cup last August.

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This will be the opening game of their Scottish Cup adventure, a competition they won last season under previous manager Ange Postecoglou. After surrendering the League Cup so weakly last year, Rodgers will be hoping to keep a hold of the other trophy currently at the club.

With all of that being said, who will the manager pick for Sunday afternoon's clash against Buckie Thistle? The Celtic Way's Ryan McGinlay and Tony Haggerty have their say...

Ryan McGinlay

Despite this game looking a bit like a mismatch, Celtic must treat it as they would for any other game at home. They have a chance to score a few goals in this game, which would display a ruthless edge to the second half of proceedings domestically. No disrespect to Sunday's opponents, but you must expect the champions to blow away their opposition with minimal fuss.

Because they have been away on their annual winter break, many of the players will need to dust off the cobwebs, and this game could be the very time to do so. For that reason, Celtic will name the strongest possible line-up, at least to start off the game.

In goals, Joe Hart will remain in his rightful place as the number-one goalkeeper at the club. With his contract being up in the summer, you would assume that this is his last six months at the club, with the scouting team hopefully looking for his long-term successor in between the sticks. In defence, there is no need to risk Cameron Carter-Vickers, regardless if he is fit or not. For that reason, Liam Scales will be partnered by Maik Nawrocki in the back-line, in turn keeping the same defensive pair that started against St Mirren and impressed against Rangers. At left-back, Greg Taylor will start - though there have been persistent rumours about a new left-back joining the club - with Alistair Johnston playing on the opposite side. You would imagine that the pair will be judged on their attacking play rather than their defensive displays in this match.

Into the midfield, and captain Callum McGregor will lead the home team out into another Scottish Cup campaign, a competition he knows only too well. Partnered alongside him will be Paulo Bernardo, who was arguably Celtic's in-form player right before the break. These next few months are going to be huge for the on-loan Benfica player, as he will be playing to earn a permanent contract with the club that decided to take a chance on him. One further forward, Celtic's player of the season Matt O'Riley will be looking to terrorise the Buckie defence with his creativity and lethal finishing. Time will tell if they are able to handle what the Denmark cap is going to throw at them.

READ MORE: Why Celtic must put on a show against Buckie Thistle

In the forward areas, it is a foregone conclusion that Kyogo Furuhashi will lead the line for Celtic. Disappointed with his non-inclusion to the Japan Asia Cup squad, perhaps the striker will want to take out his grievances on the Highland League side. He may even take home the match ball if he is up for causing damage. I believe we will see Liel Abada start his first home game since his return from injury. Luis Palma - fresh from his 24th birthday celebrations - will be hoping to get in amongst the goals once more. Judging by his numbers so far this season, you would not bet against the Honduras international.

I expect Celtic to come flying out of the traps for this one. They will show respect to Buckie Thistle but do so by firing a multitude of goals into their opponents' net. The home side to win by a fair few here.

Ryan's team: Hart; Johnston, Nawrocki, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Bernardo; Abada, O'Riley, Palma; Kyogo

Tony Haggerty

Go hard or go home.

This is a mismatch on paper as the part-timers from the Highland League venture forth to Paradise.

Rodgers has insisted that he will field a strong starting side as well as allowing some of his youngsters to shine.

That being the case you have to feel for Buckie Thistle and their 3,000-strong army of supporters.

If Celtic start the way they left off in their four-game festive period then it could well be a long day for Graeme Stewart's charges.

The visitors will want to portray the Highland League in the best possible light but they are up against the cup holders, the defending Premiership champions and players who sampled the delights of the Champions League group stages this season.

Hart will be in situ between the sticks and he will be ably assisted by  Johnston at right-back and Taylor at left-back respectively. At the centre of defence, the Cinderella story of the season will continue as Scales will partner Nawrocki after the two finished the game against Rangers and then had another impressive showing against St Mirren. 

In midfield, it ain't broke, so it doesn't need fixing. McGregor will skipper the side in a competition that has been kind to him in his career. Alongside him will be O'Riley who will show that he is a class act once again. He will not let any of the recent speculation linking him with a move to Spanish La Liga leaders Girona get to him. Few would bet against O'Riley claiming his 11th goal of a remarkable campaign so far. The third wheel in the engine room will be Bernardo who is beginning to display real promise. If the Portuguese midfielder can continue his rich vein of form that he displayed in matches against Dundee, Rangers and St Mirren then he is going the right way in forcing Celtic's hand and offering him a permanent deal. The 21-year-old Benfica academy graduate has produced in the last few matches for the men in green and white but Rodgers will need a bigger sample than that before he is convinced to snap him up on a longer-term basis. If Bernardo can help Celtic defend their title and land the Scottish Cup in the process those conversations will be deemed irrelevant and he will have pen in hand come May.

Up front, this could well be Abada's day to shine. He will get the chance to start his first home game since his injury on the right wing. In the words of 'Rudimental' the Israeli will 'Feel the Love' from the adoring Celtic faithful.  Luis Palma will be deployed on the left channel and the Honduras international will be hoping to give himself a belated 24th birthday present with another goal and assist to add to his impressive tally already this season.  Kyogo Furuhashi will be hungry for goals and whilst he missed out on an Asian Cup tour of duty with Japan he can channel any anger, and frustration as well as his energies into putting Buckie to the sword in this one.

Celtic to win by a lot to spare. Buckie Thistle to enjoy the experience. 

Tony's team: Hart; Johnston, Nawrocki, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Bernardo; Abada, O'Riley, Palma; Kyogo