The Hoops welcome Steve Clarke’s Rugby Park side to Glasgow today, hoping to get another win to maintain or extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
And they’ll also be keen to remain unbeaten and stretch their domestic run to 62 games.
Rodgers should have one eye on welcoming Bayern Munich to Celtic Park on Tuesday in the Champions League.
So that may explain why he’s made a number of changes to his team for the game, dropping out Scott Brown as well as a few others:
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) October 28, 2017
There’s no Scott Sinclair in the starting XI and that spot has been taken by 18-year-old winger Johnston – who has one first team appearance to his name.
That came against St Johnstone at the end of last season, but this is a game Celtic have to win and Rodgers has placed a lot of trust in the youngster by naming in the team.
Why has he done that? Bayern, of course. But also because Johnston deserves it, as he’s shown in the youth ranks for Celtic and Scotland.
Take his performance against Bayern in the UEFA Youth League two weeks ago for example:
He scored one, set up one and generally ripped his Bayern opponents to shreds, despite ending up on the losing side.
Take a look at Johnston’s best bits on YouTube and it’s clear to see just what he’s all about:
Rodgers is well aware of how good he is – and he could act as a good backup to Sinclair moving forward. Rodgers said earlier this year, per dailyrecord.co.uk: “Young Mikey, you see the kind of profile of player I like.
“It’s never easy replacing Scott Sinclair, but he did very very well.
“He’s exciting, fast, his maturation level isn’t like Tony’s, he’s still got a lot of growth left in him but he’s just turned 18 and once he becomes that little bit better on the final pass and adds goals, he’s going to be a big big talent.”
Based on all of this, Johnston is certainly a player Celtic fans should be excited to see more of in the first team – starting today.