The gamble that has to pay off for Celtic against Sarajevo

By John Reid

July 5, 2019

It seems like only a short time ago that Celtic were celebrating winning the ‘treble treble’ against Hearts at Hampden Park.

However, that is firmly in the past, and the Hoops are only a few days away from beginning their Champions League qualifying campaign with a trip to Sarajevo.

Everyone at Celtic will be well-aware of how important these qualifiers are for the Hoops. A trip to the group stages would be a massive boost financially for the club.

(Photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Qualifiers are worth taking a risk in

As a result, sometimes you need to gamble when it comes to the qualifiers, such is their importance.

When it comes to the team Neil Lennon selects for the trip to Sarajevo, he could well be gambling on an untried centre-back partnership.

(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

It seems likely that the duo of recent signing Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer will be the Hoops centre-backs for the game.

Duo have not played together


That will be a gamble as the pair have not played together, indeed, this could be Jullien’s first game in the Hoops. However, you don’t spend £7 million on a player unless you plan to play him in big games. That would apply to Jullien.

Ajer was the Hoops’ best centre-back towards the end of last season, so it makes sense that he would get the nod to start the game.

Playing Jullien and Ajer together is undoubtedly a gamble for the Hoops. However, it is one that Lennon must take, and hope that it pays off.