IT’S that point of the yr once more.
The Champions League qualifiers are upon us and Nir Bitton is about to be thrown in on the coronary heart of Celtic’s defence.
Usually, that will set alarm bells ringing amongst Hoops followers.
However this yr, the Parkhead trustworthy have far more to fret about.
Ange Postecoglou knew what he was strolling into. Nevertheless, the Aussie should have anticipated extra from a board who promised a lot this summer time however have to date delivered little or no.
Celts are desperately brief in key areas and the brand new man will seemingly be pressured to pitch in a couple of rookies tonight in opposition to FC Midtjylland.
Postecoglou voiced his frustrations on the membership’s switch enterprise yesterday as he admitted they’ve been too gradual to get offers performed. That is a technique of placing it…
This night, the brand new boss shall be thrown into the deep finish with a threadbare squad to select from.
Ought to Celtic fall to a different humiliating European consequence, all blame ought to be absolved from Postecoglou. This one is totally on the Parkhead board.
Hoops powerbrokers have had actually MONTHS to organize for tonight’s crunch conflict. £40million is at stake, in case you wanted reminding.
However diabolical planning and poor recruitment has left them within the weak place they now discover themselves in.
If Postecoglou can by some means get his period off to a profitable begin, he ought to be hailed as a miracle employee as a result of he merely hasn’t been handed the instruments to work with.
In targets, Vasilis Barkas is more likely to be handed a recent probability to impress between the sticks.
The £5m Greek flopped spectacularly final season, at one stage falling to THIRD selection behind Scott Bain and Conor Hazard.
However with no signal of a brand new keeper, Barkas is favorite to be No1 in the intervening time.
Who begins in entrance of him? Nicely, that is the massive concern for Celtic.
Kris Ajer has been overlooked of the Champions League squad as he pushes for an exit. Christopher Jullien remains to be crocked as he recovers from a long-term knee harm.
That leaves midfielder-turned-defender Bitton (but once more) as the primary man on the again for the qualifiers. A well-known story for Celtic through the years.
Stephen Welsh will nearly definitely begin alongside the Israeli after making the breakthrough final time period.
You’d count on Greg Taylor and Anthony Ralston to play both aspect of the central pairing.
Extremely, Ralston – who made simply ONE look final season – is the one recognised right-back on the membership.
Newly-appointed captain Callum McGregor shall be within the engine room, presumably alongside Ismaila Soro.
Forward of them, David Turnbull shall be anticipated to supply some magic within the No10 position.
Who begins out huge is the massive query although. Proficient children Karamoko Dembele and Mikey Johnston face prolonged spells on the sidelines after accidents in opposition to Bristol Metropolis.
James Forrest has missed an enormous chunk of pre-season after being pressured to quarantine and is unlikely to be risked.
New £3.5million signing Liel Abada was a shock omission from the pool of gamers registered and will not function.
That leaves unsettled Ryan Christie as the plain selection to start out on the suitable hand flank, regardless of the Scotland worldwide seeing his future elsewhere.
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On the alternative flank, Adam Montgomery has been one in all few standouts throughout pre-season and the 18-year-old may make his first European begin.
Up entrance, will probably be intriguing to see who Postecoglou offers the nod to.
It is no secret that Odsonne Edouard has his coronary heart set on a summer time transfer. However Celts have but to obtain any bids for the stylish Frenchman.
A formidable exhibiting in opposition to the Danes tonight may put him within the store window.
Albian Ajeti is an alternative choice. The Swiss striker bagged a few targets earlier in pre-season however his type has dipped in current matches.
Leigh Griffiths can also be accessible however the controversial frontman is nicely wanting match health.
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