Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told BBC Radio Scotland that he had made changes with Thursday’s Europa League meeting with Sudava of Lithuania in mind.
“I think it is part of our plan because we are playing a lot of games,” he said..
“We pick a team that we think can win a game. Kieran has a slight tightness in his calf and we can’t risk him, so Emilio gets his chance.
“I think what this week has proven is that the one guarantee in football is that you are going to come across disappointments.
“We are the cup holders and this is a perfect opportunity for us to bounce back.”
Former Celtic goalkeeper on BBC SportsoundQuote Message: We all thought that Emilio Izaguirre had gone for good, but he is back straight into the team. Celtic should get a good reaction, but I am still shocked that they have made so many changes this early in the season
We all thought that Emilio Izaguirre had gone for good, but he is back straight into the team. Celtic should get a good reaction, but I am still shocked that they have made so many changes this early in the season
BBC Sportsound summariserQuote Message: I’ve seen Partick Thistle a couple of times and they are still trying to find their feet as they are a relatively new team. I’m a bit surprised that Chris Erskine does not start, but they need to put pressure on Celtic and hope there is a European hangover
I’ve seen Partick Thistle a couple of times and they are still trying to find their feet as they are a relatively new team. I’m a bit surprised that Chris Erskine does not start, but they need to put pressure on Celtic and hope there is a European hangover
Partick Thistle: Bell, Elliott, Penrice, O’Ware, McGinty, Spittal, Doolan, Storer, Gordon, Melbourne, Mbuyi-Mutombo.
Substitutes: Sneddon, Erskine, Slater, Wilson, Fitzpatrick.
Celtic: Bain, Gamboa, Hendry, Ajer, Izaguirre, Brown, Ntcham, Johnston, Rogic, Sinclair, Griffiths.
Substitutes: Gordon, Simunovic, Dembele, Hayes, Lustig, McGregor, Forrest.
Not only did Celtic’s hopes of a third consecutive appearance in the Champions League group stage bite the dust in midweek, but Brendan Rodgers has faced the first big behind-the-scenes questions of his managerial reign in Glasgow’s east end.
A bid from Fulham for his services having been turned down, Dedryck Boyata has yet to return to action following his World Cup campaign and, while he claimed he was still requiring treatment on an injury, his manager said the Belgium defender was fit despite not travelling.
Assistant manager Chris Davies yesterday urged the club’s fans not vilify Boyata as they look for someone to blame for their 2-1 loss in Athens and suggested there was still a possibility he could be a Celtic player by the end of the transfer window.
Despite that, the 27-year-old will be absent again today, with a return to training with the first team expected on Monday.
Will Rodgers say anything more about that today? Watch this space as they say.
Brendan Rodgers makes five changes from the side that lost in Athens.
Emilio Izaguirre makes his second debut for Celtic after re-signing for the Scottish champions after his year-long stay with Al-Fayha, while Kristoffer Ajer also returns to the defence after his midweek suspension.
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon, defenders Mikael Lustig, Jozo Simunovic and Kieran Tierney all drop to the bench along with midfielder Callum McGregor.
Cristian Gamboa replaces Lustig at right-back, while winger Scott Sinclair and forward Mikey Johnston both start.
Thistle boss Alan Archibald makes three changes, with the experienced former Scotland international Cammy Bell replacing young Jamie Sneddon in goal after their midweek League Cup thrashing of Stranraer.
Former Dundee United man Blair Spittal and Shea Gordon, on loan from Motherwell, are in midfield, with Aidan Fitzpatrick and Craig Slater dropping to the bench.
Coverage of the build-up at Firhill, with match commentary to follow, is beginning now on BBC Radio Scotland MW, with Stuart Cosgrove and Tam Cowan providing their humorous take on Scottish football over on FM in Off The Ball.
Aberdeen v St Mirren
Dundee v Ayr United
Dunfermline Athletic v Heart of Midlothian
Livingston v Motherwell
Partick Thistle v Celtic (12:30)
Queen of the South v St Johnstone
It’s back to domestic business for Celtic after their midweek Champions League qualifying disappointment at the hands of AEK Athens.
This is when the four top seeds start their Scottish League Cup campaign after being given a bye in the group stage while competing on the European front,
Holders Celtic are first up in the early kick-off, with Brendan Rodgers’ side in a bit of turmoil as they visit relegated Partick Thistle in a Glasgow derby.
Aberdeen, who took an earlier Europa League exit, host St Mirren in one of today’s two all top-flight ties in the second round.
The other is at Livingston, where Kenny Miller’s side host Motherwell.
Stay with us for coverage of all today’s six ties and games in Leagues One and Two.