Celtic vs Hibernian would’ve been quite simply mouth-watering tomorrow night.
But the departure of Neil Lennon has taken a bit of the spice away from the match. Not that it’s degraded the importance of the contest, of course. Celtic need to win, and need to win consistently until they pull away proper from the rest of the pack.
Yet that’s been made difficult with an absolute horror injury list. As many as 14 players could be missing for the visit of Hibernian. Here, we look to clear up just who could shrug off their knocks and reduce that number, however.
Who’s definitely out
Let’s start off with Kristoffer Ajer. He’s 100% suspended for tomorrow night’s match after his silly red card in Perth on Sunday.
Then we have the long-term absentees. Tom Rogic, Eboue Kouassi, Filip Benkovic, Anthony Ralston, Daniel Arzani, Leigh Griffiths, and Vakoun Issouf Bayo are all unavailable for selection. None are ready or have been back training yet.
Chris Davies, of course, gave us all a boost when he mentioned the returning stars. Dedryck Boyata, Kieran Tierney, and Olivier Ntcham are all back in training and starting their work once again.
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Speaking to Celtic TV, Davies confirmed that both Tierney and Ntcham won’t be available yet. As well as that, he also confirmed James Forrest will also be missing after tweaking his hamstring in Perth. He’s away for a scan to discover the extent of the damage.
Who could make a return?
There’s been no update on the current state of Ryan Christie. He took a kick in the ribs against St Johnstone. According to Brendan Rodgers, he could barely breathe after the contest. But Davies didn’t give any indication he’s still suffering, so is surely likely to start.
Despite the fact Boyata is back in the squad, it doesn’t seem likely he’ll feature. Davies did keep the door open for him to make the squad if he reacted well to training – there’s been no update since.
Both Odsonne Edouard and Mikael Lustig also took bad knocks in Perth. Edouard is suffering after a collision in the box, whilst Lustig felt Achilles pain after the match. Both have also been rated as “doubtful” by Davies during his pre-match presser on Celtic TV.
So there we have it. Nine definitely out with three highly doubtful. In truth, it looks as though only Christie will take part out of the walking wounded from Sunday.
Then again, who’s to say Celtic don’t spring a surprise or two before kick-off?