Celtic travel to the capital once again, this time to take on Hearts at Tynecastle Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Brendan Rodgers’ side will be going into this one with a renewed sense of optimism, having won their last two games against Motherwell and Dundee respectively, scoring 10 goals in the process. Their win on Wednesday was an emphatic one, with seven different players getting on the scoresheet in their demolishing of their Dark Blue visitors in midweek.

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They will be hoping for much of the same against a Hearts side that has had by and large a successful season thus far, sitting comfortably in third place in the Scottish Premiership table. The two sides have one win each in their two contests this season, with their respective wins coming away from home. Celtic won the first match-up 4-1 at Tynecastle, whilst Hearts pulled off a shock 2-0 victory in Glasgow a few months later. Hearts’ last result was a 1-1 home draw against Hibs, four days after their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Rangers.

Celtic need a win to keep momentum going, especially due to the likely scenario of being five points behind their rivals at the start of play. With that being said, who will the manager elect to play against Hearts at Tynecastle? The Celtic Way’s Ryan McGinlay and Tony Haggerty each have their say…

Ryan McGinlay

Following on from an emphatic win at home, Celtic and their players need to make sure that they can maintain the growing sense of optimism that is growing around the club at the moment. Wednesday’s result was a big one, but they must park it, as the most important is always the next one.

Rodgers seems to have found something good with this side, so I do not see the manager changing it unless there are to be enforced changes. Because of this, it will remain largely similar to the team that disposed of Dundee so impressively.

In goals, Joe Hart will retain his place, as the veteran looks to add another two trophies to his glittering trophy cabinet before retiring in the summer. The back-line will remain the same, as Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liam Scales will assume the two centre-back positions, assisted by Greg Taylor and Alistair Johnston at left and right-back respectively. Having Carter-Vickers back in this team is a massive boost, as his impact in both boxes has been felt since his return. Scales is an automatic first-pick due to Maik Nawrocki’s latest injury blow, whilst both full-backs are in scintillating form. In the case of Johnston, this should be a game that he relishes playing in, meanwhile, Taylor will be looking for any opportunity to score in this very fixture, akin to his strike last season under Ange Postecoglou.

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The midfield is an interesting one, as captain Callum McGregor missed training on Friday. After coming off on Wednesday night at half-time for Daniel Kelly, it remains to be seen if he will make this crunch match. If he cannot, then there will need to be a midfield rethink, though not at the number six position, as Tomoki Iwata will continue to feature in this area. A colossus in midweek, The Japan holding midfielder will be hoping to repeat his late heroics at Tynecastle on Sunday, though this time from the start. Assuming McGregor will not make Sunday’s game, Paulo Bernardo will replace him in the starting line-up, with Matt O’Riley playing further ahead of him in attacking midfield. Still a strong midfield on paper, Celtic would rather their captain was present than not, especially on a trip to the capital.

In the forward areas – despite Kyogo Furuhashi’s good record against Hearts – Adam Idah will continue to lead the line for the club, as he looks to score in his third consecutive match. Regardless of who the manager chooses, however, Celtic will have significant firepower in this area, that’s for sure. In the wide areas, it will be Daizen Maeda and Yang Hyun-jun, as both looked in sharp form last time out. In particular, Maeda’s pressing off the ball will be important, as well as Yang’s confidence in taking his marker on in one-on-one situations. Nicolas Kuhn and Luis Palma will need to be patient for their next opportunity, as it looks like the two selected wide-men are in good form.

I expect this one to be tight, though I think Celtic will motor on to another vital win away from home. The visitors to win by two clear goals.

Ryan’s team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, Bernardo, O’Riley; Yang, Idah, Maeda

Tony Haggerty

It most certainly isn't broken. It doesn't need fixing.

Ladies and gentlemen, with 10 games to go we are in the midst of a Scottish Premiership title race. Celtic blitzed Dundee 7-1 on Wednesday night after the feelgood factor from Fir Park carried into the Parkhead clash. Seven goals. Seven different goalscorers. Enough said.

Rodgers' side has the bit between the teeth now and some of the football they produced against the Taysiders was totally sublime. The first three goals in midweek came from headers where the delivery into the box was bang on the money and the hosts profited greatly from it.

Can Celtic replicate their exploits against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday? Ironically the Northern Irishman is taking his side back to the capital where they produced a scintillating display back in October when they put the Jambos to the sword 4-1. The 51-year-old would settle for a repeat of that scoreline and so would the Celtic faithful. Strap yourselves in though as the flag race is going to the wire.

Steven Naismith's men were battered 5-0 by Rangers at Ibrox last weekend and they rallied to grab a point in the Edinburgh derby in midweek but you get the sense that Celtic are building momentum and shifting through the gears at the best possible time in the campaign. The goal glut against the Dark Blues all but wiped out Rangers' goal difference at the top of the table. Out with a trip to Ibrox, this is the hardest fixture for a title-chasing Celtic side to encounter.

With that in mind, Hart will be between the sticks. It will be the status quo in terms of the back four with Johnston - whose deliveries from the wide areas in the last two matches have been special - and Taylor - who notched another goal and provided two assists against Dundee - on the right and left respectively. Carter-Vickers and Scales will be the pairing at the heart of the defence. The return of the imperious Carter-Vickers who netted his first goal of the season gave everybody a lift in G40. 

In the midfield, the same triumvirate would have operated once more. Japanese midfielder Iwata will be hoping to crack another home just as he did on his last trip to Tynecastle. Deployed in the No. 6 role, Iwata was outstanding against Dundee and made Celtic tick all evening. It was his positional play, spatial awareness and common sense that allowed the skipper McGregor and O'Riley to roam further forward and they did so to great effect as both players got their names on the scoresheet. There was a welcome return to form for the Danish internationalist in the process. However, an Achilles injury to McGregor has thrown a real spanner in those works and his absence from training on Friday suggests that he won't make the Tynecastle trip which will be a massive blow to the champions. That being said Portuguese midfielder Bernardo is still a very capable and reliable deputy.

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It will also be as you were in attack as Idah will get the chance to claim his sixth Celtic career goal to date by spearheading the attack. Yang will be fresh from his player of the match display and his confidence levels sky-high. He will determined to make a valid contribution again as he enjoys an extended first-team run. They will be ably supported by the energetic and tireless Maeda who curled home a thing of beauty against Dundee and that will have done him no harm at all.

It will be a tough fixture but this title-chasing Celtic team will go hell for leather and some capital punishment could well be meted out. Celtic to win by at least three clear goals. 

Tony's team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, Bernardo, O'Riley; Yang, Idah, Maeda.