Celtic return to action after a two-week lay-off, as they travel to the Tony Macaroni Arena to face Livingston on Easter Sunday.

Following the international break, Brendan Rodgers and his side will be hoping for a third win on the bounce, following victories over Sunday’s opponents and St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup and Premiership respectively. With Rangers playing on Saturday, it is up to Celtic to keep momentum at a positive level, given that the two sides will meet at Ibrox a week later.

At the time of writing, David Martindale’s struggling Livingston side are at the foot of the Premiership table, 10 points behind 11th-placed Ross County. Before the international break, they were soundly beaten 3-0 by Hibernian at Easter Road, after their defeat at the hands of Celtic the week prior in the cup.

With key players returning from injury, it leaves Rodgers and his staff with some big calls to make, especially on the plastic surface at Livingston’s ground. With all of that being said, The Celtic Way’s Ryan McGinlay and Tony Haggerty each have their say on who should feature from the off on Sunday…

Ryan McGinlay

Celtic are finally back in action, after what has felt like the longest international break known to man.

Thankfully, the manager has good headaches to suffer rather than negative ones due to the clearing up of injuries, which means he has decisions to make in key areas of the park. Even more so, given that Livingston’s astroturf pitch is a nightmare for players to deal with, especially when returning from long spells out. Still, the risk of not playing them is far greater, therefore chances must be taken for the good of Celtic’s title hopes.

In goals, Joe Hart will start, as his experience and calm head will be vital in the title run-in. He will be hoping for a quieter trip to the Tony Macaroni than last time out when he was sent off due to a foul out of his box. The basics are required and nothing else from Hart.

Joining him in the defence will be the usual suspects at full-back, as Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor will occupy their left and right-back spots respectively. The middle of defence throws up a couple of discussion points, as both Cameron Carter-Vickers and Maik Nawrocki are now fit, as well as Liam Scales following a slight knock. For this one, I believe that Liam Scales will partner Cameron Carter-Vickers at the back, despite Stephen Welsh and Nawrocki being available for selection. That being said, a start for the Poland defender would be a welcomed sight in Livingston, though it may be wishful thinking on my part.

In the midfield, and it will be another game without the captain in Callum McGregor, as he is not going to be risked on Livingston’s artificial pitch. There will be one injury returnee, as Reo Hatate will complete his long-awaited comeback from his latest injury woes with a starting spot, playing just ahead of Tomoki Iwata in the midfield. Matt O’Riley – who will be delighted with Hatate’s return – will operate as the furthest-forward midfielder on the day, with the Denmark international celebrating his second appearance for his national team. A goal or an assist would be welcomed from all sectors.

In the attacking areas, Kyogo Furuhashi will lead the line for Celtic, buoyed by his two goals in as many games. He is the club’s main man, and could well score the goals that bring Celtic more silverware in the coming couple of months. Nicolas Kuhn will start on the right, assisted by an injury to his competition in Yang Hyun-jun, whilst Daizen Maeda – complete with a full head of hair – will ply his trade on the left-hand-side of the pitch as usual.

Despite the lay-off and the plastic pitch, Celtic will win this at a canter if they play to their best. Rodgers’ team to win by a few on Sunday.

Ryan’s team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, Hatate, O’Riley; Kuhn, Kyogo, Maeda

Tony Haggerty

The sideshow is over. There is a Scottish Premiership title and Scottish Cup to be won now.

Rodgers's SFA disciplinary fate has been decided and he will not be in the technical area for the trip to West Lothian. Celtic will cope without their manager not being in situ. It's all about the available personnel and the defending champions who must go hard and fast against Martindale's men. Celtic are starting to feel better about themselves for the eight-game title shootout. On Easter Sunday they will welcome the return of influential midfielder Hatate.

Celtic were impressive in the 3-1 Premiership win over St Johnstone and Kyogo continued his rich vein of goalscoring form. With that in mind, Rodgers will not want to tinker too much with the starting XI but having said that it is a must-win for the champions.

Hart will be in goal and beside him will be a back four from right to left of Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales and Taylor. Hatate will come straight back into the first-team fold and will be deployed alongside Iwata and O'Riley who will have felt the benefits of gaining his second full Danish international cap. In attack, Kuhn currently occupies the yellow jersey and will get the nod to start on the right wing at the expense of Korean Yang. However, both players will get the chance to grab the headlines and the limelight as they try to convince the manager that they are a certain starter in Govan.

Kyogo will be looking to make it three league goals in his last three Premiership and Scottish Cup outings as he seems to have rediscovered his killer instinct in front of goal which could not be more timely for Rodgers and his side. Maeda will be utilised on the left flank, and he'll be hoping to repeat his goalscoring feat against the Lions having netted a hat-trick during the 4-2 Scottish Cup quarter-final win at Parkhead earlier this month.

There are risks attached to Celtic playing their strongest team ahead of a derby showdown at Ibrox but spilt points in West Lothian at this stage of the season could spell the end of their title ambitions. That won't happen as Rodgers' men will come out of the traps and win convincingly to push Martindale's side closer to the Premiership trap door that leads to the Championship.

Tony's team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; Iwata, Hatate, O'Riley; Kuhn, Kyogo, Maeda.